Believe it or not, stretching is a very important part of any workout routine. Including some stretches before and after a workout session is a very smart thing everyone can do. For only 5 minutes of stretching, you get to prevent some serious muscle and bone damages. Stretching promotes blood circulation, eliminates the risks for back problems and muscle soreness. Also, these exercises prevent joint strains and make the tension of muscles significantly drop.
Why stretch before the workout?
Many people do not stretch before their physical activity by assuming that the best way is to do a post-exercise stretching. The truth is, both parts should include it; before and after any type of workout you do. Stretching before the physical activity session makes muscles to be less prone to injuries. Also, many researchers suggest that stretching right before the activity, increase your performance and make you feel less tired at the end. It prepares the muscles for what comes next and also, will protect them from most of the damages they can get. Keep in mind that one of the most noticeable benefits stretching exercises can bring to you, is the fact they drastically improve your flexibility and endurance.
Because every workout routine is different, stretching should be too. For example, when running, you know that even your warm up routine that includes stretching should be focused on muscles you are going to use for running.
Why should everyone stretch after the workout?
Post-workout stretches are very important too. Usually people tend to do them. After the workout, stretching exercises will work on your flexibility and increase your future performances. Do not overdo them. Even though multiple stretching types exist, that you can do after your workout, static stretching and dynamic are the most famous ones. Static stretching is the one on which each stretching exercise is done by holding staying in a static freezing way. In another words, the main intention of this type of stretching is to stretch your muscles while you keep your body at a resting position by lengthening the main muscles. Static stretching exercises are considered to be ideal when after the activity in order for the body to relax and meanwhile, the muscle’s work can be better defined. We know that sometimes, after an intense workout session, the last thing you want to do is to stretch. Good news is, not all muscles stretching, especially after the workout. You should only focus working on the tired muscles.
Also, another kind of stretching is the dynamic one. People usually do it before the workout. You know why? Because, as the name suggests, dynamic stretching requires some short, but powerful stretching exercises that will make your heart rate increase and prepare it for the upcoming workload. Some of the exercises that best describe this type of stretching are: rowing, inch worm, sprint, and cycling. So when you actually do them, they then feel more natural and will flow much smoother. Also, more blood will flow to the muscles and your body temperature will increase. Focusing on these quick movements for about at least 5 minutes, will definitely leave a great impact on the following activity minutes.
Also, experts’ advice to include and some extra exercises while doing a dynamic stretching. These exercises should be dedicated to the areas on your body which suffer more from your daily posture. Usually the most difficult areas are the neck and spine. A dedicated set of two or three exercises for all these parts, will prepare them to better handle the following activity. Also, more blood flow means more muscle releasement and relaxation.
Final tip: Never neglect or underestimate the pre and post workout stretching. They are your protector. Perfecting warm up and cool-down exercises will make every single activity session more enjoyable, fun and beneficial.