How to stretch…correctly!

May 12, 2021

Why should we stretch?

Everyone should have good flexibility, but due to our new sedentary lifestyles through 2020 to 2021, our natural flexibility has become compromised and we’ve all ended up far less supple than we used to be. A regular stretching routine should be an integral part of your fitness routine and it is as important as either cardiovascular or resistance training, bringing a whole range of benefits including:

  • Improved mobility
  • Greater range of movement
  • Greater efficiency of movement
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • The positive feeling of being loose and supple

However, many people don’t realise that an incorrect stretching technique is actually worse for you than no stretching at all, so make sure you follow the stretching protocols and the do’s and don’ts outlined below and you will achieve safe, long-lasting flexibility gains.

The list below are tips you can implement to make sure you’re always stretching correctly and safely for your body.

Stretching ‘dos’

  • Ensure that the muscles being stretched are thoroughly warmed-up
  • Do stretch at the end of your training session
  • Always relax
  • Ensure to breathe easily
  • Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds
  • Follow an all-over body program for stretching to avoid postural imbalances
  • Follow correct technique
  • Avoid pain, stretching should never be painful – if you experience pain, you may be stretching wrong. Always consult your physio of stretching becomes painful.

Stretching ‘don’ts’

  • Don’t try and stretch cold muscles – it’s a recipe for injury
  • Don’t stretch before your warm-up or workout
  • Don’t bounce or rock whilst holding a stretch – you could overstretch and cause an injury
  • Don’t hold a stretch for just a few seconds
  • Don’t hold your breath
  • Don’t focus on just leg stretches or just upper body stretch

Time spent learning how to stretch correctly and return your now shortened, tight muscles to their original length will provide considerably greater and longer-term benefits than a few more minutes gym training or a couple of extra miles on the road. By following the stretching dos and don’ts listed above, you will find you’ll become injured far less as your body and muscles are prepared for any activities or workouts you do.

If you are still unaware of how to stretch safely for your body post-workout or you are also not sure of which workouts are correct for you, book in with us for a functional training session.

In a functional training session, your physio will teach you how to exercise and stretch correctly for your specific body.

As you may know, part of physiotherapy is exercising well. As physiotherapists, we have extensive knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, as well as exercises. We know which muscle does what, and at which angle and alignment certain exercises should be performed in order to target the correct muscles.

But most importantly, we understand how to prevent injuries or overloading as a result of exercise. Our physios can show you exactly how to perform FUNCTIONAL exercises to help you stay strong, fit and remain injury free!

If you book a functional training session with our physio’s, we will assess your biomechanics and teach you how to exercise in a safe and healthy way, based on your personal body type and goals. If you prefer exercising under supervision, then we are more than happy to see you regularly for training at our rehab gym.

If you’re not 100% sure if Physiotherapy is for you, why not book a FREE 15-minute discovery visit? In this complimentary visit you will have a chance to speak to a physio about your needs/and or condition and they will let you know if physio is right for you.

To book an appointment or a discovery visit, call us on: 0207 636 8845


Since seeing Louise (following an Achilles rupture repair), I have:

- Made it back onto tennis / squash courts to (tentatively!) celebrate 1 year anniversary of my surgery 
- Ran my fastest 10k at 43.57! 
- Ran 5k in 21:30 (vs pre-surgery PB of 20:18) 
- I increased my single leg calf lift to 59 kg (vs ~18 kg initially a few months ago) 
- I had a final appt with my consultant, who discharged me while congratulating me on a wonderful recovery

All the above is to illustrate that I'm absolutely delighted with the progress I have made since last summer when I couldn't do anything and the outlook seemed bleak. I'll be forever grateful for Louise’s guidance and support as I've navigated the long road back from my injury, and I appreciate the continued advice to help me prepare for more dynamic activity. Louise has been really fantastic and I couldn't have asked for better care.

Recovering from a full Achilles rupture. Started my work with Nina in feb and my progress has only been positive and upwards and I am almost at full speed again. Nina put me back together again almost from scratch. She is the best physio I have ever worked with and will again. Very knowledgable and very hard working. Can’t recommend enough.


What a great find! My orthopaedic surgeon recommended them and I can't rate Luigi, Gloria and the team more highly. Excellent service and very effective treatment- recovering nicely!


I am 84 years old, and have always been fit and healthy and exercised regularly. 3 years ago I underwent emergency surgery for peritonitis, and had a colonoscopy bag for 6 months and straight after surgery to reversal of the stoma. After this surgery I felt my legs very weak. To complete my drama, during the last summer I developed an abdominal hernia and had surgery for hernia repair. This made me even weaker specially at my legs. I have recovered but felt weak. I started my sessions at ALO Physiotherapy at the beginning of January, with the Vibra Machine combined with specific exercises. I have now recovered my body strength, particularly in the legs. I am now walking normally and without pain. I am delighted!


Great clinic with great people! I was so lucky to find this clinic and even more when I met Andre. He's a very talented therapist and a wonderful person who makes you feel comfortable every time. He helped me to resolve my back problems in few appointments and I will be always grateful to him! From my experience is the best clinic in London and I highly recommend them without any doubts!


One of the best physiotherapy centres in the world! The professionalism and knowledge of this centre amazed me.


I am so glad I found this clinic. Luigi has been amazing. After my 1st session I felt an improvement and now have ALOT more movement and significant reduction in pain. I couldn’t recommend this clinic & Luigi enough. So helpful and flexible whenever I have needed to amend appointments. Every one is fantastic. I will continue to come here for as long as I need.


Andre is the best physiotherapist I came across. As a dedicated martial arts practitioner, I regularly use his services. He has always managed to fix my various back and leg injuries. I would recommend Alo Physiotherapy to anyone who suffers from body pain.


Where do I begin? The journey has been too long with Andre Oliveira and ALO Clinic , as he helped me both physically and mentally to overcome an injury I had in both of my knees. A small injury , after following wrong treatment became chronic and I found myself unable to walk/stand/run and do the simplest things- the mental impact was worse. I was introduced to Andre by Eleftherios Pavlidis who runs Laertion in Athens. lefteris with his team were the first to accommodate the problem and told me what I need to do. As a Londoner, I was introduced to Andre and ALO Clinic, and the rest is history. Since February 2017 when I had the first session with Andre and he identified the biomechanic nature of the problem, along with the use of Tecar the results were visible after one month. Since then, along with personal effort and strengthening I did always guided by Andre, I the problem is restored and the pain is gone. I highly recommend ALO Physiotherapy Clinic , and Andre Oliveira for anyone who suffers from sport injuries , amateurs or professional top athletes.


Very professional staff and friendly environment. I felt a lot better after very first session. Appointment are easily available. I would definitely recommend this place


The care I received from ALO Physiotherapy was outstanding from the first session to the last. Sessions with Louise were informative as well as practical, allowing me to understand the context/logic behind treatment as well as tips to prevent future injuries. Louise was always readily available to answer my questions and the treatment process was collaborative rather than being prescriptive. Beyond the expertise of the team the quality of the equipment and facilities was incredibly high and aided my recovery significantly. I would recommend ALO Physiotherapy to anyone who requires physiotherapy treatment in the Marylebone area.

ALO is an excellent well-run clinic and Louise Hynes who looked after me is a superb physiotherapist. Louise is knowledgeable, skilled and very efficient at her job. My sore shoulder was sorted out in no time thanks to her. Thank you, Louise, and thank you ALO.

Julian Webber, Harley Street Endodontist.

ALO is an excellent well-run clinic and Louise Hynes who looked after me is a superb physiotherapist. Louise is knowledgeable, skilled and very efficient at her job. My sore shoulder was sorted out in no time thanks to her. Thank you, Louise, and thank you ALO.

Julian Webber, Harley Street Endodontist.

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