Static stretching

Static stretching involves reaching for and then holding a stretched position for between 15 and 30 seconds. This technique can be used on most areas of the body and can bring about a long term increase in flexibility and range of motion.

As described in our section on dynamic stretching, static stretching is not now recommended as a warm up for sport, but isrelevant as:

A regular programme of stretches for anyone regardless of age (as long as there is no specific medical contra-indication)  to increase range of motion and joint flexibility (1). This in turn may reduce the risk of injuries by increasing the safe range through which a joint can be taken without injuring surrounding muscles and ligaments.

For sportsmen out of competition a static stretching programme has been shown to improve force production, speed and jumping ability (2)

An after sports routine to maintain flexibility and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.

Static stretching exercises should be done slowly with the muscle stretched up until a point of tension is reached and then held for between 15 and 30 seconds. The stretch position should not be painful and you should not bounce. You should then relax and 'shake out' the muscle before repeating the stretch.

For a helpful guide to static stretches , view the following publicly available video from YouTube - 7futures is not liable or responsible for any content or associated comments.

(1)   Bradowicz, G.R ,R.Welsh & J.Wallis   -  Comparison of Stretching... Journal of Athletic Training 31: 1996
(2)   Shrier I   -   Does stretching improve performance   -   Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 2004 Sep 14


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