FRIDAY FIT TIP – KNOWING THE BEST TIME TO STRETCH?

By
Updated: December 10, 2015

Stretching 1

STRETCH…..or

Warming Up 1

WARM-UP?

We hear that news that stretching might not be good before a workout. Some even say you don’t need to stretch – warm-up yes, stretch? Maybe not. So you start to wonder whether you’re better off stretching before or after your workout – or not at all. Should I warm-up or not?  Stretch or Warm-Up?  Should I – or should I not?  That is the question.  Our answer at Coach Rozy Performance – you should do both.

“Warm-up and stretching prior to a workout or athletic event promotes blood flow and circulation to the muscles and increases the body temperature, therefore ‘warming up’ the muscles,” experts say. Most experts also add that stretching after a workout “maintains the flexibility in the muscles and decreases the amount of shortening and tightening that occurs after activity—in turn, limiting the amount of soreness you feel.”

How you approach stretching should differ when you’re finished with your workout versus when you warmed up beforehand, with specific moves based on what you plan to do for your activity.

Stretching is important for exercisers and athletes alike because it helps decrease post workout soreness, reduces the risk of injury, and loosens up the joints by allowing them to move through their full range of motion. As we age, it is important to maintain flexibility as our muscles naturally begin to become shorter and lose elasticity. Maintaining flexibility decreases forces on joints, thus decreasing risk of aches and pains, so stretching early in life is important.

For athletes, stretching is indispensable because fewer injuries can mean a longer and healthier career. Players are constantly engaging in explosive, dynamic movements in practice and games, so it’s necessary that their muscles are flexible and at the optimum length to endure these tasks. Stretching prior to a workout or athletic event promotes blood flow and circulation to the muscles and increases the body temperature, therefore ‘warming up’ the muscles. When your muscles are warm from 10 minutes of dynamic stretching, which consists of active movements that mimic those you’ll be performing in your sport or routine, they’re less stiff and can work more efficiently.
Active dynamic warm ups are an excellent way to warm up the muscles. This means doing things like jumping jacks, high knees, lunges while twisting the upper body to one side, leg swings, and butt kicks while running in place.

After a workout, stretching is all about recovery. Post workout, it is important to statically stretch, hitting every muscle you used during activity. This maintains the flexibility in the muscles and decreases the amount of shortening and tightening that occurs after activity—in turn, limiting the amount of soreness you feel. Additionally, a study published in The Journal of Sport Rehabilitation found that foam rolling before static stretching can be beneficial, too.

Choosing which stretches to do depends a lot on the activity you’ll be doing. Athletes should be stretching the muscles they use the most for their sports, while general gym goers are better off focusing on the big core muscle groups. .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *