What’s the best type of stretching for long-term benefits?
While dynamic and ballistic stretching can be beneficial before exercise, static stretching appears to be the most effective at increasing long-term flexibility.
How long should I hold a stretch?
Research determined that 30 seconds is the minimum threshold for flexibility benefits for static hold stretches (generating no momentum to move into or through the stretch). No increase in flexibility occurred when the stretch duration increased from 30 to 60 seconds.
Will increasing the intensity of a stretch provide faster benefits?
Research (Wyon et al.) showed that "micro stretching" (defined in the study as 30-40%, where 100% would be slightly painful) is more effective than increasing the intensity of the stretch. Instead of focusing on intensity, aim for consistency and frequency. The American Council of Exercise recommends performing flexibility exercises 2 to 3 times a week for 30 minutes, with daily being the most effective.
What’s the best stretching routine?
In a comprehensive review of different stretching routines, Palma et al. discovered that a minimum frequency of five times per week, with a total stretching time of five minutes per muscle group each week, was optimal.