1. Feel the Muscle You’re Targeting
As you slowly proceed through the movement, you should feel a stretching sensation in your muscle as it lengthens and relaxes. If you feel a sharp pain in a joint, such as your knee, you have either gone too far or your technique is at fault. If you feel nothing at all, you have either not gone far enough or, again, are using the wrong technique.
2. Relax Your Muscles
Many people tense up as they stretch, for example, hunching their shoulder towards their ears. Don’t. Notice whether you are clenching any other muscles and gently allow them to release as you exhale.
3. Breathe in to Your Stretches
If you breathe slowly and deeply as you stretch, you’ll increase blood flow and make your stretching more effective. Always exhale as you move into the stretch. As you hold, inhale by expanding the abdomen, ribcage and chest, then exhale as you visualize your breath flowing through the tension you feel in your muscle.