There are many schools of thought when it comes to stretching. There are those that say you must stretch before a vigorous workout while others are adamant about stretching afterwards. I tend to do both! I hold my stretches for about ten seconds and I don’t try to over stretch as that can cause more damage then good! Why do you need to stretch? Because it improves flexibility! Improved flexibility has proven to improve athletic performance and has decreased the risk of activity based injuries! Stretching also improves blood flow to the muscles! DON’T stretch cold muscles! Always warm them up either by walking or some light calisthenics! DON’T bounce in your stretches! This can cause small tears in your muscles which just causes more soreness and tightness later! When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. And make sure that you stretch both sides. For instance, if you stretch your left hamstring, be sure to stretch your right hamstring, too. When stretching, you should feel tension, not pain. You have gone to far if it is painful! Try to stretch 2 -3 times a week and you should see marked improvement in your flexibility over several weeks! GOOD LUCK!