The minimum recommended time to hold a static stretch is about 20 seconds, according to Shape magazine. A 30-second duration is the most effective length of time to hold a stretch to lengthen muscle tissue and increase flexibility.
The maximum length of time to hold a static stretch is two minutes, or else injury may occur. Static stretching should create a mild feeling of discomfort as the muscles are gently elongated. Static stretching causes the receptors that relay information to the nervous system to become less sensitive, which triggers the relaxation response. Static stretching, which is performed when the body is at rest, improves balance and helps to release stress.