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How Often and How Long Should I Stretch to Improve Flexibility?

Daniel Brady | March 1, 2013 in Flexibility
Woman Stretching

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.[1] 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.[2][3] 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[3], 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.[4] 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

Stretching for 30 seconds per muscle, 3-7 times per week is optimal.



Email: danielbrady_89@hotmail.com
Daniel has a strong interest in evidence supported fitness training, preparation and supplementation. His goal is to provide clear information that simply works. He's currently 16 kg of muscle above his starting weight (7kg in the past 12 months), and targeting a continued growth rate of 5kg+ per year.
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