What are Stretching and Flexibility?



Stretching refers to applying gentle, sustained tension to muscle groups and connective tissue to improve mobility, flexibility and range of motion around joints.


  • Static, dynamic, and loaded stretches lengthen muscles. Good flexibility allows fuller motion and performance.
  • Stretching increases toxicity circulation, joint lubrication, injury resilience, posture, and recovery. It decreases muscle tightness and soreness.
  • Flexibility varies by individual based on genetics, age, and past injuries. Improving flexibility requires regular, gradual stretching focus.
  • Stretch within reasonable joint range of motion. Move deeper into stretches as muscles relax during long 20-60 second holds.


  • Hamstring and hip flexor stretches
  • Chest and shoulder stretches
  • Calf and quad stretches against a wall

Related Terms

  • Mobility – The ability to move joints freely through a full range of motion. Good mobility allows optimal movement.
  • Dynamic Stretching – Active stretching utilizing movement and momentum to take a muscle through its full range of motion. Prepares the body for exercise.
  • Plyometrics – Exercises that involve rapid, explosive movements to develop power, like jumping and bounding. Improves speed and fast-twitch muscle fibers.
  • PNF Stretching – Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching – involves contracting and relaxing target muscles to increase range of motion. Often uses partner resistance.

Common Questions

  • How often should I stretch? Daily full body stretching provides greatest mobility benefits before exercise and after.
  • Will stretching help my lifting? Indirectly – it can improve range of motion for better technique and injury prevention.
woman wearing sportswear stretching on the sidewalk

Do Not Confuse With

  • Warming up – General body temperature/heart rate elevation before exercise using dynamic motions.
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Categorized as exercise