Don't delay your care at Mayo Clinic
Brain tumor, breast cancer, colon cancer, congenital heart disease, heart arrhythmia. See more conditions.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
It's helpful to include stretching in your exercise regimen. Stretching can increase flexibility and improve your joints' range of motion, helping you move more freely. And ensuring that you have equal flexibility on both sides might help protect you from injury.
Before stretching, warm up with five to 10 minutes of light activity. Better yet, stretch after a workout. Keep stretches gentle and slow. Don't bounce. Breathe through your stretches. If you feel pain, you've stretched too far.
Hold a stretch for about 30 seconds, to the point of a slight pull, on each side. Repeat the stretch on both sides two to four times. Stretching is recommended two to three days a week.
If you have health conditions or injuries, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which stretches are right for you.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.