[dropcap …]So[/dropcap] stretching is great right? But have you ever wondered how long you should be holding the stretch for the best results? You’ve been doing 10 second holds for 3 reps, right? But why? Who came up with these arbitrary numbers?
[dropcap …]Lets[/dropcap] look at the research…
[dropcap …]Bandy[/dropcap] et al demonstrated the ideal duration of a stretch is 30 seconds. During this 6 week study the authors compared hold times of 15, 30, and 60 seconds. The results demonstrated significant improvements in mobility in the groups that held stretches for 30 and 60 seconds as compared those who held stretches for shorter durations. Although the group that held the stretch for 60 seconds also had great improvements it was not significantly different than the group who held the stretch for 30 seconds.
Bottom Line – if your goal is to improve flexibility/mobility hold your stretches for 30 seconds!
1. Bandy WD, Irion JM, Briggler M: The effect of time and frequency of static stretching on flexibility of the hamstring muscles. Phys Ther 1997;77(10):1090-1096