Stretch after your warm up and again after your workout to help your muscles recover from what you have just done. Stretch until you feel a gentle tension in your muscle. You should not feel pain in either the muscle or joint. If you do, ease up the tension -- you may be hurting yourself. Hold the stretch for 10 - 20 seconds without moving (but remember to breathe). Don't bounce! Bouncing during a stretch can tear the muscle.
These are some types of stretches you should do. Though it is not a complete list (it does not cover all the major muscle groups), it should help you in the beginning.
Reviewed By: Jeffrey Heit, MD, Internist with special emphasis on preventive health, fitness and nutrition, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.