Stretching is a type of physical movement in which certain muscles or tendons are intentionally flexed or stretched out so as to improve one’s range of motion, flexibility, and physical comfort. Stretching is an activity observed both in humans and many other animals, as it is often instinctive following long periods of physical inactivity, such as sleep, or when exiting confined spaces. In the case of humans, stretching is a critical part of physical fitness, since it helps to reduce risk of injury prior to and following strenuous activity and/or sport. There are many types of stretches one might do depending on the context, but the four major classifications of stretches are static, dynamic, active, and passive.
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