How often should you stretch?

People ask me all the time how often you need to stretch.

If someone asked you, “how often should I breathe?” what would you say?

Would you say “at least 20,000 times per day”? Or “once every couple seconds”?

My answer to both is “it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.”

If you’re doing a 400m sprint, you should be breathing a lot more than the guy who’s watching British comedies on Netflix. If you’re meditating, your breathing pattern is going to be very different from the gal racing to make it to a meeting on time. If you’re an NHL goalie, 3 hours a day of stretching is totally within the realm of reason.

If you’re trying to improve your flexibility to get your body ready for challenging physical activities, you should definitely be stretching a lot more than the guy who’s watching British comedies on Netflix.

If you’re the guy who’s watching British comedies on Netflix, you actually should be stretching some as well. Why? Because you  probably want to make sure your body remains flexible enough to do basic (important!) things like stand up straight! You may not realize you want that, but when you find it hard to stand up, you’ll realize you do!

For some quick videos to help you on your quest for flexibility, check out 3 Secrets to Flexibility. These 1-minute Youtube videos will help you with some of the basics that people often get wrong.


About the Author

Matt Hsu is a trainer and orthopedic massage therapist. He fought a long battle with chronic pain all over his body and won. He blends the principles he learned in his journey, empirical observations with clients, and relevant research to help others get their lives back.