Stretch every day
Simple stretching can increase your range of motion and decrease pain in conditions like rotator cuff tendinopathy. The great thing about stretching is that you can do it anywhere, and it only takes a few seconds to a few minutes.
There are three types of basic stretches. You can choose to focus on increasing flexibility or you can work on mobility, too.
Static stretching — You probably learned this style in middle school. (Think standing toe touch and thigh stretch.) Static stretching increases flexibility by putting light tension on a muscle and holding the position for 30-60 seconds. Be sure not to bounce. It's best to warm up first before attempting this type of stretch.
Isometric stretching — In this type of stretching, you get into a static stretch position, then gently contract the stretched muscle. Keep the length of the muscle and the angle of the joint steady. Hold for 10-15 seconds then relax your muscle for about 20 seconds or more, then repeat. Isometric stretching increases strength and flexibility.
Dynamic stretching — When you roll your neck, do walking lunges or arm windmills, you're doing dynamic stretching. A dynamic stretch takes a specific movement and allows the joints and muscles to move through their full range of motion.
Dynamic stretching is controlled and smooth. It's a great way to warm up before exercising and helps increase range of motion.
When beginning a stretching routine, remember to take it slow. Stretching too quickly and too far can trigger your body's defense mechanisms to protect itself from tearing joints and muscles. Stretch just until you feel tension. If you feel pain, you've gone too far.