Updated: Apr 21
Ask almost anyone who's ever done a "Splits in 30 days" challenge, and the answer will probably be a resounding "YES... that's how I injured my hamstrings".
Whether you've injured yourself from stretching too far, for too long, or with incorrect technique (with the most common answer being some combination of all of them), you've probably regretted a thing or two about your stretching practice.
There is a fine line between challenging your muscles in order to increase your flexibility levels, and hurting yourself.
Here are some of our top tips for preventing overstretching:
1) Practice MINDFUL MOVEMENT - stay present & intentional with your body, and listen to the signals the body is sending you. If the body is sending you pain notifications - back off immediately because your body doesn't trust you at that range of motion... and it probably has a good reason not to! (lack of strength, unresolved past injuries, etc.)
2) If you are working on INCREASING your range and plan to go deep in your stretches, make sure your body is nice and warm. We recommend a 10-15 minute dynamic warmup followed by conditioning followed by active flexibility work before you attempt long and/or passive holds
3) SLOW AND STEADY wins the race - as usual. Stretching for very long periods of time will not necessarily get you to your results faster. Your nervous system, muscles tissue and connective tissues both need time to adapt to new depths of movement, and it's not going to happen overnight. Focus on consistency of your practice versus the length of each individual stretching session. And focus on appreciating the journey, not the destination!
Have more tips on preventing overstretching? Share them below!