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Answer: A basic static stretch – holding the pose for an extended period – should last about 30 seconds. Anything less than 20 seconds won’t make a significant difference in lengthening muscle fibers and tissue; hold too long and you risk injury. While some recent studies suggest stretching doesn’t necessarily improve performance or decrease one’s risk of injury, the American College of Sports Medicine still advises stretching your major muscle groups two or three days a week.
Origially published in Fitness magazine.