I can honestly say the times I strained a muscle or joint working out was absolutely connected to the fact I didn’t stretch properly or long enough prior to my workout. Guaranteed! You MUST stretch for a few minutes at a minimum prior to and after a workout. There are numerous reasons, but here are a few.
Reasons for Stretching:
- Reduces muscle tension
- Increases your range of motion during exercise
- Avoids muscle strains
- Avoids joint strains
- Reduces the risk of upper and lower back problems
- Prepares your body for a strenuous exercise
- Improves your circulation
- Reduces muscular soreness
Stretching is a way to prep your body prior to a workout to access numerous ranges of motion that are more free and fluid. It’s an important aspect of exercise, giving the body space and flexibility to safely complete movements, while also helping decrease the risk of injury and sore muscles.
A little known fact is that there are a few different types of stretching. Some stretching styles will be more beneficial at specific points of exercise.
- Done during and after workouts, this is a longer held stretch where the body stays still in the stretching pose.
- This type of stretching is done before and during workouts. It requires you to move through stretches repeatedly in a fluid motion.
- This type of stretching is done after working out and requires assistance from bodyweight, equipment, or other props, so that your body relaxes and the gravity/equipment does the work.
- This type of stretching is done before, during and after a workout and involves contracting the opposing muscle to the area you are relaxing into the stretch.
The older you get the more important stretching will play in your workouts. A few years ago4 blogs I tore my right shoulder….bad. I did a heavy shoulder workout and paid the price for not stretching properly. That 5 minutes I chose not to stretch cost me 3 months not working out due to an injury. Not very smart.
Joseph Teti | Founder of T1 Performance Nutrition