Are you the type of person who jumps into a workout without stretching first? Do you feel like stretching is a waste of time? Well, it’s time to change your thinking because stretching before a workout can benefit your performance and help prevent injuries. Here, we will teach you how to properly stretch before working out so that you can maximize your potential and avoid any unnecessary pain.
What Is A Warm-Up?
Before we dive into stretching, let’s talk about warm-ups. A warm-up is an essential part of any exercise routine as it helps get the blood pumping and prepare your muscles for movement. It typically involves some light cardio exercises such as jogging or jumping jacks to increase heart rate and body temperature. After five minutes of warming up, it’s time to start stretching.
Why Stretching Matters
Stretching lengthens muscles, improves circulation and increases range of motion. By doing so, it allows your body greater flexibility during physical activity which translates to better athletic performance while potentially avoiding injury. Furthermore, regular stretching reduces muscle stiffness, soreness after workouts and may even contribute positively in reducing stress levels .
Know Your Body
Stretching should be done at a comfortable pace with respect for limitations due to previous injuries or overall capabilities; each individual should modify the stretches accordingly . Always consult with a doctor if there are problems exercising or experiencing chronic pain.
Dynamic vs Static Stretching
Dynamic stretches involve movements that mimic what will be performed in a subsequent exercise session such as lunges and squats. They help prepare your joints for quick movements by increasing blood flow throughout the muscles }. Whereas static stretches are usually held for prolonged periods focusing on lengthening the muscles. Spend more time doing these if your goal is flexibility.
The 8 Best Stretches To Do Before Working Out
- Leg swings: Stand with your weight on one leg, swing the other leg front to back and then side-to-side for 15-20 repetitions.
- Arm circles: Standing tall, extend your arms out to the side at shoulder height and make circular movements in both directions .
- Walking lunges: Step forward with one foot whilst lowering your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground then step forward and repeat with alternate legs
- Shoulder Stretch : interlock fingers behind lower-back by pulling hands away from glutes while extending elbows and squeezing shoulder blades together.
- Hamstring stretches: sit down with knees bent, then keeping left knee bent the rightleg should be extended straight/horizontal slowly reaching towards toes trying reach long as possible .
- Hip flexor stretch : kneel placing right foot forward while left foot rests relaxed body-weight predominantly resting around hips stretching so that you feel it through hip flexors lilttle tightness is okay but avoid pain
- Chest stretch bring both fist together infront arching mid/lower back slightly feel stretched breathing into diaphragm repeating multilple times
- Back stretches such as lying on ones back bending knees toward chest or spinal twists will unlock great range flexibility
Q: Can I stretch every day?
A: Yes! It’s recommended you engage in some form of stretching everyday-even if it’s just ten minutes
Q : How does stretching help recovery?
A: Due too increased blood flow to muscles, helping speed up repair process.
Q: When should I stretch?
A: Before exercise or sports always. A before bed stretch session will help one sleep soundly.
Now that you know how essential stretching is, take some time out of your day to give yourself the best chance at a safe and successful workout. By incorporating these stretches into your pre-workout routine, your body will definitely thank you in the long run!