Static Stretching

Static stretch

Next, 5 to 10 minutes of gentle static stretching should be used to gradually lengthen all the major muscle groups and associated tendons of the body.

Static stretching is a very safe and effective form of basic stretching. There is a low risk of injury and it is exceptionally beneficial for overall flexibility. During this phase of the warm up routine, static stretching should involve all the major muscle groups, and should last for about 5 to 10 minutes.

First, let’s go over what static stretching is:

Static stretching consists of stretching a muscle (or group of muscles) to its farthest point and holding that position for 30 to 60 seconds.

In greater detail, both the opposing muscle group (the muscles behind or in front of the stretched muscle), and the muscles to be stretched should be relaxed. Next, slowly increase the tension of the muscle, or group of muscles to be stretched. The position is held for a minimum of 30 seconds to allow the muscles and tendons to lengthen.

*The recommended amount of time to hold static stretches is 30 (minimum) to 60 (maximum) seconds (Bandy, Irion, & Briggler, 1997)

The general warm-up and static stretching form the basic foundation for a complete and effective warm up. It is especially important that these two phases (general warm-up and static stretching) be completed correctly before moving onto the final phase, sport-specific dynamic stretching.

Did You Know?

There is some controversy about whether static stretching should be included in the warm up, and recent studies have shown that static stretching may have an adverse effect on muscle contraction speed and therefore impair performance of athletes involved in sports requiring high levels of power and speed. It is for this reason that static stretching is conducted early in the warm-up procedure and is always followed by sport-specific dynamic stretching.

This website provides a full list of static stretching tutorials for the entire body:
Sports Injury Clinic - Static Stretches (Optional)