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  • Writer's pictureZouwy

How much should I stretch?

How many times per week should I stretch to become flexible? As flexibility instructor and contortionist in training, I often get this question. And I also see in social media different answers from other instructors.

At the end of the day, how much you need to stretch it depends on your body type and your lifestyle. And your goals, of course!!! :-)

I started stretching at age 27. However, all my life I have been doing sports, and I always incorporated, in one form or another, stretching exercises. I competed swimming until age 14, then joined a dance school and danced until the good old university times arrived. During those summers I worked as lifeguard as well, which it made me focus on athletic training. I started practicing yoga at age 20, mostly for the mental benefits than the physical benefits. I never did weight training or something similar... the only strengthening I did was joining on and off pilates classes.

Consequently, by the time I started stretching, my body was still quite opened. On one hand, it was thanks to my active lifestyle. On the other hand, thanks to my natural flexibility..

Now, let's think on you. First two questions:

  1. Your starting point: Have you been doing sports in the past? or you had rather a sedentary lifestyle?

  2. Your genetics: Genetically, what type of body you have? do you feel freedom on movement or do you feel tight?

While people recommend to stretch every day, depending on your natural body type, I would even recommend you to stretch less days or with less intensity. A lot depends also on your goals. Throughout the years, I found people who started stretching for different reasons:

  • Reduce muscular pain

  • Increase range of motion and feel consequently freedom in movement (my favorite!!!)

  • Reach skills required for the sports they were practising (e.g. martial arts, circus arts, dancers)

  • Take on a new challenge

  • For fun

Hence, what is your goal? do you simply want to become more flexible? maybe one day reach to do a split? a solid bridge? or get enough mobility, so your body doesn't feel like a 60 years old in your 30s?

Stretching the body regularly is very healthy. However, if you focus only on stretching trainings - and here I mean specific flexibility trainings; or even one single yoga type practice, where you stretch all the time same muscle groups - maybe you should rethink twice if you don't want to incorporate stabilization exercises.

Too much flexibility isn't healthy. You will get wobbly and no muscles to hold you. Too much strength and pumped muscles isn't healthy neither. Your muscles will beco