When you're getting ready to run, ride a bike, play tennis, or do some other activity that requires limber joints and muscles, skip the static stretches like lying on the floor and pulling your knee up to your chest. Instead of tuning you up, these stretches may undercut performance.
Dynamic stretches, like the ones in this video, are a better warmup routine. They will loosen your joints to improve your range of motion and improve blood flow to tissues throughout your body. This helps your cells get the oxygen and energy they need for any athletic endeavor.
Stretching is an excellent thing you can do for your health. To discover simple, yet effective moves that can help you limber up for sports, improve your balance and prevent falls, increase your flexibility, and even help relieve arthritis, back, and knee pain, checkout the Stretching Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.