Neck circles when your neck is cold can lead to pinched nerves. Stretch slowly and gently in one direction before returning your head to a neutral position and then stretching in a different direction.
When it comes to stretching, it’s wrong! Stretch slowly and gently within what’s comfortable. It’s OK to feel mild tension within your muscles and joints, but don’t push past a mild pull.
If you have discomfort in your neck, back, shoulders or knees while you stretch, lessen the stretch until it’s comfortable.
If the discomfort continues even with a mild stretch, a neuromuscular massage therapist can help you regain your flexibility.
Cold muscles are tight and don’t have much stretch in them. Instead, warm up for five minutes or more before you stretch any muscle that you hold.
A little light running, a few minutes warming up in the sun, or even a warm bath will be enough to get your muscles moving and active before you stretch.
Your muscles need oxygen throughout the stretch so take good deep, slow breaths as you stretch.
Holding your breath can also raise blood pressure. Simple stretches such as shoulder rolls don’t require that you hold them, but other stretches such as quadriceps stretches should be held for at least 20 seconds. 60 seconds is even better.
Remember to breathe throughout the stretch.