We’ve all head about the importance of stretching alongside a workout, yet stretching is often the first thing that is cut when pressed for time. Let’s decode why stretching is important, what types of stretching to do, and when to do it!
Stretching is an important part of a workout to improve the flexibility of your muscles. Tight muscles are prone to injury when worked without being warmed up and loosened. When the muscles are tight, and you begin your workout that involves fast movements that the body isn’t used to do right from a resting state, the tight muscles will pull on soft tissue, tendons and ligaments which is UNSAFE and could lead to a tear, strain or sprain.
Stretching post-workout is also incredibly important because your muscles were just worked, and are still warm. While your muscles are cooling down, stretching them will loosen them and ensure that they are eased into rest. If you do not stretch after working out, you risk injuring your muscles and soft tissues because they could settle in a tense state, and tight muscles are easily pulled and strained.
When to Stretch?
The most important times to stretch are AFTER your 3-5 minute cardio warm-up, and AFTER your workout. It is important NOT TO STRETCH COLD MUSCLES, as this could just as easily lead to an injury or strain.
How and What to Stretch?
After your short, cardio warm up, you should stretch muscle groups that are involved in the activity, as well as your big muscle groups;
Hold each stretch for 1-3 sets of 10-60 seconds to get the benefit of the stretch. Hold the stretch at a point of “comfortable discomfort” where you are able to hold the stretch without feeling sharp pain, but feeling a good stretch. DO NOT STRETCH TO THE POINT OF PAIN THIS WILL LEAD TO INJURY!
Stretching is important, make sure you do it!