Did you know that if you don’t stretch in the correct way, you might end up thwarting the entire purpose of your workout and suf-fer unwanted injuries?Doing pre-workout stretches thoroughly will determine whether you are benefiting from your workout or whether it’s worsen-ing your muscle tear. Here are the major stretching crimes that you should never commit.Not doing a proper warm-upAccording to gym instructors worldwide, this is the most commonly committed crimes in any gym. A warm-up is a must before any kind of workout — cardio or weights — and must ideally last at least 12-15 minutes.Assuming that stretching is a warm-upStretching and warming up is not the same. You need to warm up first, before you are ready to stretch. A slow jog or brisk walking on the treadmill is a good warm-up.Rushing through your stretching exercisesStretching should be for the entire body. You cannot skip any parts. Involve stretch-es that work your lower back, shoulders, calves, stomach, quads etc. You should not move from one stretch to the other in very quick succession because that may cause untoward injuries. Try to hold each stretch for 20 seconds. When you breathe deeply and hold the stretch, your muscles get trained to tolerate the maximum that your limbs can go to.Giving stretching a skip after a workoutYou have done an hour of strenuous exer-cise and now you just want to rush out of the gym; that is a huge mistake. Spend some time bending and stretching after your sweat session. Then, do a cool down before you leave the gym.Not stretching every dayYou need to be your flexible best always and that can only happen if you stretch daily, even on the days that you aren’t gymming. This ensures that your gym days are more fruitful and that you make the most of them.Not breathing properlyBreathing right is a very important aspect of stretching. Breathe naturally while you inhale through your nose, expand your rib cage and upper abdomen as you fill in your lungs. When exhaling, breathe out through your mouth, preferably making an audible sound. This relaxes you. While stretching, you need to breathe out when you are exert-ing, that is, when you are actually contract-ing your muscles.Doing static stretchesNever stand still and do stretches that work only one muscle. You should rather do stretches that work a group of muscles — like a lunge that stretches your upper ham-string muscle, your ankles and also your glutes.Ignoring pain while stretchingWhen you are in the middle of a stretch and you feel pain, stop immediately and consult an expert. Your stretch should make you feel a gentle pull only, not immense pain. If you are hurting, you are doing it wrong. Rest a few days and then go back to working out under a qualified trainer.