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Remember that if you're impatient and force your body you will only strain something and have to wait until you heal, before you can start again.

Repeats are the key! 10-25 repeats are the best depending on your age, gender, flexibility etc. The number of repeats in this case is a recommendation. If it should be carried out 20 times and you carry it out 40 times, it doesn't mean that you will get twice the flexibility and if you carry it out 60 times you may find that your muscles are stiffening up again. Try to keep the repeats on a level that feels good. You'll find very quickly which amount of repeats is the best for you.

Again never forget about doing all the warm up exercises you can handle and then after warming up the stretching exercises. You'll work the same way with the stretching exercises. The difference from the warm ups is that here you'll try to stretch out as much as you can without getting hurt or uncomfortable. You'll work with the exercises the same way as you do in the warm ups, but always with the difference that you want to achieve the maximum flexibility by stretching out as much as possible. When you have reached the maximum stretch in an exercise count 1-2-3-4-5 and then go back to the resting or initial position and start over doing the next repeat trying to get a little further. In the last repeat try to stay as long as possible in the position. You will find that in time you will be able to stay as longer and longer in more extreme positions and in the end for as long as you want like that without any discomfort.

After doing the stretching exercises it can be good to do the stretches, but only with one repeat, the same way as you did in the warm up. This way you can convince yourself and, most important, your mind what your real flexibility is and this will help you the next time when you stretch out. Those five minutes doing this are as important as the whole exercise. What the brain believes and what's really happening are two different things.

Also it's good to have someone watching you while you exercise, not only to make certain you carry them out correctly, but to ensure your backbends are carried out by the whole spine and not just between two vertebrae. Particular care should be taken in the area of the lower back. Finally when you do backbend exercises always combine them with frontbend exercises.
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