Most people can only guess how often stretching should be performed for optimal results. Many people assume that more is better, but that is not quite correct. In this article we find the optimal stretching frequency and time so you can have maximum results, but not waste your time doing more than necessary, since there is a point at which you receive barely any additional benefits for any additional stretching.
How Long Should I Stretch For?
Static stretching for 30 seconds per day for each leg, 3 times a week for 4 weeks resulted in significant flexibility improvements in one study. That is a total of 3 minutes per week for significant improvements, very impressive results. Other studies found that 30 seconds and 60 seconds resulted in the same flexibility improvements, so 30 seconds is sufficient. It was also found that 30 seconds was superior to 15 seconds, so therefore 30 seconds is the optimal stretch time.
How Many Times Should I Stretch Per Day?
Stretching 1 time or 3 times per day resulted in the same improvements, so there’s no point wasting time stretching more than once.
How Many Times Should I Stretch Per Week?
One study found that stretching 4 times per week provided 82% greater flexibility improvements than stretching 2 times per week. It is not clear where the upper limit of frequency benefits is, so the recommended frequency is therefore 3-7 days per week.
Conclusion: How Should I Stretch to Improve Flexibility?
- 30 seconds per muscle
- 1 time per stretching day
- 3-7 times per week
- THE EFFECTIVENESS OF 3 STRETCHING TECHNIQUES ON HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY USING CONSISTENT STRETCHING PARAMETERS. D. SCOTT DAVIS, PAUL E. ASHBY, KRISTI L. MCCALE, JERRY A. MCQUAIN, AND JAIME M. WINE [Go Up ↩]
- The Effect of Time on Static Stretch on the Flexibility of the Hamstring Muscles. William D Bandy and Jean M Irion [Go Up ↩]
- The Effect of Time and Frequency of Static Stretching on Flexibility of the Hamstring Muscles. William D Bandy, Jean M Irion and Michelle Briggler [Go Up ↩] [Go Up ↩]
- Effects of frequency of static stretching on straight-leg raise in elementary school children. Santonja Medina FM, Sainz De Baranda Andújar P, Rodríguez García PL, López Miñarro PA, Canteras Jordana M [Go Up ↩]