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How Long Should I Hold a Stretch?

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When doing muscle-lengthening stretches, how long should you hold the position? Our expert describes how to perfect your stretches.
Question: "How many seconds do I have to hold a stretch?"

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.


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wannabeironman1 wrote:

Hi I'm finding that stretching is so important as part of my exercising. I'm male and 39 and just getting into training after a 20 year lay off. I once tried to get into it before but didn't stretch, but am doing so this time around and it's making a different. I didn't appreciate how long to hold the stretches for though, so thanks for the advice. Dave

9/19/2012 08:17:43 AM Report Abuse

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