Learn why stretching your muscles is an essential part of your workout.
While stretching might not be the most thrilling aspect of exercising, incorporating flexibility work into your fitness routine is crucial for overall wellness. By adding stretching exercises to your workout, you can enhance your posture and flexibility, prevent injuries, reduce tightness and tension, and optimize the efficiency of your workouts.
There are two basic types of stretching you should try before and after every workout;
The purpose of dynamic stretching is to warm up the body before exercise. When performing these stretches you should move in a full range of motion, which will improve mobility and drastically reduces the risk of injury by prepping the body for movement.
How to do dynamic stretching: This is an active movement that usually involves mimicking the type of movement you’re about to do to prepare the joints and muscles for exercise. For example, if you’re going for a walk, fluid stretches that warm up the hip flexors and hamstrings are ideal.
Benefits: When performing dynamic stretching, the body's active movement can raise its temperature, effectively warming it up. This, enhances blood circulation, allowing for efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. As your blood gets pumping, you may feel an energy boost, too!
Static stretching should be performed during the cool down phase, where a stretch is held for a minimum of 10 to 30 seconds. It is important to maintain a slow and controlled pace while holding the stretch at a point of discomfort, not pain.
How to do static stretching: Static stretching is a type of stretching that doesn't involve movement, and is characterized by holding a stretch in a fixed position. An example of static stretching is bending over to touch your toes and maintaining that position for a couple of seconds.
Benefits: Static stretching is a technique that can help you with being more flexible and relieve tightness in your muscles or joints. It involves slow and deliberate movements, which can also help you relax. You can do it at home or at the gym after working out. Doing static stretching after exercising can also lower your chances of getting a muscle strain injury and reduce soreness in your muscles.
Some of the greatest benefits of stretching include:
Increases range of motion
Reduces risk of injury
Reduces the risk of low-back pain
Helps with stress management.
So, whether you're a beginner or an elite-level athlete, incorporating stretching into your fitness routine is crucial. Enhancing your flexibility can provide numerous health benefits, elevate your quality of life, and enhance your overall fitness and performance.