An often, overlooked part of exercising is stretching. Adding stretching to your routine can have the following benefits:
Decreases muscle stiffness
Increases joint range of motion
Increases flexibility which can help reduce your risk of injury
Improves posture when you stretch your lower back, shoulders, and chest
Reduces muscle tension and stress by helping your muscles to relax
Promotes circulation by increasing blood supply to muscles
The longest amount of time spent on stretching should be done when your muscles are already warm, so stretching after your workout is most beneficial. Holding each stretch for a minimum of 15-30 seconds will give you much more impact. Also, be sure to never bounce as you stretch or stretch to the point of pain.