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Can you hold a stretch too long?

I get this question quite often in regard to laying on the foam roller or releaser ball or doing a sidelying stretch. Yes, you can hold a stretch too long especially if you are not paying attention to your body’s reaction to the stretch.

When completing any MFR corrective stretch inwhich you are changing tissue memory you should be in a quiet place where you can focus on your body. Why?

1. You will know when a stretch is too intense and your body is tightening up

2. You will be able to feel when an area is softening like melting butter or stretching taffy

3. You can address both the physical holding pattern as well as the psychological cause by asking yourself “What lies beneath this tension?” or “What benefit is it for me to hold on to this?”

4. You will be able to feel other areas of tension in your body guiding you to the next place to stretch. When you can feel the total body connection of one tense area to another, you develop more awareness of which area is pulling on another. For example, if you are stretching your psoas, you may feel a pull into your chest. Wait to see if the chest quiets down or intensifies. If it intensifies, you need to stretch the chest next.

Overall, listen to your body and you will hold the stretch for the correct amount of time.

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