FITT Factors for Stretching
Stretching exercises should be included in all physical fitness programs.
The following FITT factors apply when developing a flexibility program.
- Frequency: Do flexibility exercises daily. Do them during the warm-up to help prepare the muscles for vigorous activity and to help reduce injury. Do them during the cool-down to help maintain flexibility.
- Intensity: Stretch a muscle beyond its normal length to the point of tension or slight discomfort, not pain.
- Time: Hold stretches for 10 to 15 seconds for warming up and cooling down and for 30 seconds or longer to improve flexibility.
- Type: Use static stretches, assumed slowly and gradually, as well as passive stretching and/or PNF stretching.
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U.S. Army Field Manual 21-20 is the source material for this website. A soldier's level of physical fitness has a direct impact on his combat readiness. The many battles in which American troops have fought under-score the important role physical fitness plays on the battlefield. The renewed nationwide interest in fitness has been accompanied by many research studies on the effects of regular participation in sound physical fitness programs. The overwhelming conclusion is that such programs enhance a person's quality of life, improve productivity, and bring about positive physical and mental changes. Not only are physically fit soldiers essential to the Army, they are also more likely to have enjoyable, productive lives, and you can too.