Muscles and connective tissues shorten over time and that results in less flexibility. If your muscles have gone some time without being used, they tend to become weaker and quite stiff. The risk of injury is greatly increased when you start to use those muscles suddenly. If you are doing regular stretching exercises to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, injury can be easily avoided.
A pulling sensation is normal while you're doing stretching exercises. It can be mildly uncomfortable but if you are experiencing pain then you are probably over extending your muscles. If this happens then you will need to reduce your stretch to maintain comfort. Of course you can push yourself to stretch further but do so gradually and with much consideration for your pain threshold.
A common mistake that many people make while doing stretching exercises is to bounce into the stretch. Bouncing is not a good idea because it's a sharp, abrupt movement that can do a lot of damage to your muscles. You should focus on the specific muscle that you are stretching and gradually push your limit without causing yourself pain.
You should find that you are more limber in just a few short months if you are dedicated to doing some stretching exercises a few times a week. If you are hoping for a faster result then you can always increase the frequency and duration of your stretching exercises. Just remember not to overdo it because an injury could have you off your feet for an extended period of time.
James is a published author at Fitness Freaks, a site dedicted to bringing you up to date information on Health and Fitness related topics. For more great articles, visit our Fitness Articles page.