How long should I hold a stretch?

Henrietta N.
I’m no expert at all but I try to hold my stretches for a count of twenty. That allows me to feel the stretch and try to go a little further on the outward breath.

Matthew Y.
I find stretching for 30 seconds is the most your muscles really earn any flexibility. People think they can just stretch for an hour and be okay but it's the repetition that really gives you that elasticity we all are trying to achieve.

Imagine it like exercising. If you go to the gym for 4 hours you'll probably just be sore and end up with an injury. In reality we only need 45 minutes to an hour. Just like in the gym stretching only needs 15 to 30 seconds to get results and steer clear of injuries.

Also, like the gym, make sure your form is correct. Avoid bouncing or not stretching when doing your poses. A lot of people will loosely stretch and not feel the real burn of the stretch. No pain, no gain… But again avoid too much pain.

Keep it up every day and write down where you started and where you are every two weeks. It's amazing what our bodies can do when we work at them.

Ashlyn O.
I hold my stretches based off of my breaths. I typically do three long, full breaths per stretch. Everytime you exhale you can go a little farther in the stretch as well.

Gennette G.
I usually follow a video on YouTube and I think it varies. For some yoga stretches the time is counted in breathes. Some stretches it is for a minute or two. Also I believe you learn to listen to your body. I hold a lot of tension in my lower back and hips so I hold stretches to these areas a little longer or until I feel them loosen up.

Sandra R.
15 seconds is what my physical therapist says is optimal. Because most of us count too fast she said to do 20 seconds with 5 repetitions. My husband's physical therapist does 5-10 seconds with 20 repetitions. Personally, I like the longer hold. Each streatch I notice slight improvement.