The 4-Week Reach Your Stretching Goal Plan

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The 4-Week Reach Your Stretching Goal Plan

“Blessed are the flexible for they shall never be bent out of shape.”

This quote is one of my all-time favorites because it not only applies to our mental state, it’s also so appropriate for our physical bodies. When it comes to an effective fitness program, the importance of flexibility is often overlooked because it’s not a big calorie burner, but there are so many reasons flexibility should be an integral part of your routine. For example, tight muscles can lead to imbalances in the body which may contribute to a limited range of motion or possible injury. Stretching regularly can help you maintain mobility that may help improve your performance during those tougher, calorie-blasting workouts.

If you aren’t already including regular stretch sessions in your workout schedule, this is the time to start, and we’re here to assist! We created this month’s “Reach Your Stretching Goal Pledge” to encourage you to set (and achieve) your personal flexibility goal.

*Please note these are general recommendations for someone who isn’t regularly stretching. If you are already incorporating regular flexibility training into your routine, feel free to set your sights on a higher number of sessions per week. (Pro tip: You can stretch 7 days a week if you like!)

First, let’s review a few helpful stretching tips to help you get started:

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU STRETCH EACH WEEK?

The great news is that as little as 6–10 minutes of static stretching a few times a week can be beneficial, so it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task to include more flexibility-focused work into your already busy schedule.

If you aren’t currently doing any stretching, aiming for 1–2, 10-minute sessions a week is a good place to start. Each week you can add more sessions or increase the duration.

If you know you won’t ever have the time to do a full 20–30 minutes in one session, don’t worry. You can break it up into shorter, more manageable time blocks, or simply do a more focused, 5–10 minute stretch on busy days (or, even just start your day with this single, full-body stretch). The key to success here is to finding a way to fit your flexibility time without stress.

WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO STRETCH?

Stretching can be done whenever you like (and can fit it in) — morning, noon or night. In fact, it’s a great way to wind down your day — some studies found that yoga in the evening may help you sleep more soundly, but the best time to stretch is the time you’ll actually do it.

Depending on what type of stretching you’ll be focusing on, you may or may not need to warm up beforehand. More dynamic mobility work (such as certain types of yoga or Pilates) can be done on its own, while static stretching (stretches held for 30–60 seconds at a time) is better performed after a workout (or at least after a full-body warmup).

WHAT KIND OF STRETCHING SHOULD YOU DO?

Here’s where you’ll want to personalize your plan and schedule sessions that are most appropriate for your body and your goals. For example, if you play a specific sport, you may want to design a plan that incorporates mobility exercises to improve your range of motion and performance.

Or, if you travel often and experience tightness in certain areas (such as your hips, neck, back, etc.), you may want to focus more on specific static stretches that target those key areas. But, if you just need assistance getting started somewhere, check out the list of session ideas below (and, for more helpful flexibility tips, be sure to check out these 5 common stretching mistakes and 5 ways to make stretching more effective).

WHAT COUNTS AS A “SESSION?”

Any focused stretch time is a session, whether it’s as little as 5 minutes or as much as an hour (if you are taking a yoga class, for example), so don’t worry about how much time you have to dedicate to your stretch goal at first. Aim to add in more sessions each week, and, if you like, focus on increasing the length of your sessions as your schedule allows.

Not sure what to do when it comes to stretching? Here are a few ideas you might want to try:

Thanks for joining us, we’re so glad you are here. Let’s stretch our abilities this month!

TELL US YOU’RE IN!

Leave a comment below, and let us know you’ll be joining us. We’re here to support each other and be accountable. We’re in this together!

Related

  • I am in for sure! What a great way to start the month I will be 65 in.

    • Kat Kearey

      I’m in

  • Zoe Connell

    I do yoga a couple of times a week but there are still areas that I need to stretch more

  • Orla Condon

    Love to try

  • STARLETTA S

    Count me in

  • Royale

    Joining _Stretching Out Tonight!

  • Tami Bartshe

    Look forward to it!

  • Libby

    I’m in. I don’t think I stretch enough sometimes.

  • Payal

    Im in!! Need to unlock all my muscles lol

  • Jenny

    I’m in 🙂

  • Nina Decatiff-Lombard

    I’m in.

  • Jenny V.

    I’m in!

  • Corinne

    I’m in.

  • jessicasmithtv

    Welcome everybody! So glad to see you all joining us for this plan. Please keep us all posted on your progress by continuing to post here – let’s help each other stay motivated and accountable to reach our goals 🙂

    • Mandy Parker

      seriously need this I don’t like how my body is feeling at the moment through lack of exercise and zero stretching
      I have returned to the gym on Monday and with reading this I’m feeling more motivated and hopefull that I can get subtle, balanced and healthy.
      I’m now a non smoker no alcohol ( 3 years ) low carb low sugar 58 years young with a few aches and pains in the knees but Not losing the weight ! I have the time I have the dvd’s I’ve paid the gym membership and ready for this next step 🙂 Thank you Jessica smith TV I’d be lost without you 🙂 Good luck to all let’s get bendy :)) Mandy ( England )

      • jessicasmithtv

        Hi Mandy! So glad you will be joining us for the plan. Keep up the great work you are doing taking care of your body and your health. Please keep us posted on your progress 🙂

  • Tonya B

    I’m in!

  • Pragya

    Thank you for your articles. Please keep them coming. I never comment on articles, just read and implement what I can. But the wealth of knowledge that you are giving us, will change many lives for good. Please continue writing. There are lots of invisible readers who are getting better because of your wisdom.

  • Robin Vick

    Of course I’m in!

  • Dina Richman

    I’m in too!

  • LaShonia Dobson

    I’m in my body is so tight from daily routines

  • Cari Manchester

    im in!

  • Kathleen Chu

    I’m in