Stretching before working out has been drilled into our heads since we started gym class in school. However, stretching does so much more for your body than just getting you ready for a workout.
That’s why we will teach you the importance of stretching before and during every workout!
1. Prepares Your Body for Exercise
When you use dynamic stretching before a workout, it helps loosen your:
- Joint capsules
- Other body tissues
The pre-workout mobility also helps to increase your core body temperature and stimulate blood flow so your body can get an adequate amount of oxygen.
This is also why you should stretch during your workout. So you can keep those parts of your body loose and reduce tissue tightness and pain from an intense workout.
2. Gives You a Better Workout
When your body is prepared to work out, you’re able to exercise it fully. In addition, you can safely reach your workout intensity at a faster pace since you’re somewhat warmed up.
Be sure to have a personalized stretching routine created for you to address specific areas you need to expand. When you do this, coupled with strength training and aerobic conditioning, you’ll be able to take your workouts to the highest level.
3. Better Overall Health
It’s been shown that regular stretching can improve your blood pressure as well as your heart rate. This maximizes your overall mobility as you continue to age.
It also just feels good. It may not feel good right away, but once you get into a good stretching routine, you’ll start to fall in love with it.
4. Reduces Risk of Injury
Some studies show stretching before exercising helps to reduce the risk of serious issues. For example, you can prevent muscle strains, ligament sprain, and many other painful injuries.
Just because stretching is shown to help prevent these issues doesn’t mean it alone will do it.
You also need to ensure you always have prepare form and are being safe throughout your workout.
5. Relieve Stress With a Stretch
Having a tough day or feeling overwhelmed? Take five minutes, sit on the floor and do some basic stretches. Especially if you’ve been sitting at a computer all day, you need to move your body and change your state of mind.
Stretching regularly, combined with deep breathing and other mindful exercises, such as yoga, can help to reduce your stress levels.
Don’t reserve stretching for just exercise. Instead, do quick stretches throughout the day and then once again before your workout to maximize the stress-relieving benefits.
6. Creates Body Awareness
When you stretch every day, you become more aware of your own body. You can understand your limitations and start to understand what you can do to push yourself past the limit.
Over time, you’ll notice you’ve improved your range of motion. Enjoy this time to relax, and get to know yourself.
Now that we understand why stretching is essential, you have to understand the proper stretching techniques. When first starting out, don’t lean too far or push yourself too much. Lean gently into the stretch, and wait until you start to relax before going further.
Don’t forget to breathe during your stretches. Take a deep breath in, then exhale as you bend into your stretch. While you’re there, you should start to notice less tension and feel looser.
Always hold your stretches, and never bounce to get yourself to go further. When you bounce, you’re actually tightening the muscles you’re working on loosening. Also, don’t try to be overly flexible when you’re starting; take it as far as you can, then hold.
If you’re just getting started with stretching, try some of these first.
Stand with your legs straight and together, with your hands at your side. Then, bend your knees, jump and spread your legs out to about shoulder length at the same time you pull your arms from the side and over your head.
Immediately after, jump back! Repeat for at least 3 minutes.
Stand up with your legs shoulder-width apart and with your toes pointed slightly out. Strengthen your core and bend your knees while pushing your hips back. Think of sitting in a chair, and follow those motions while keeping your chest up.
While squatting down, hold your hands straight in front of you, then return to the starting position. Start with a set of 10.
Start by standing straight up. Engage your core and take a large step forward with your preferred leg to ensure your heel lands first. Lower your body until your leg is parallel to the floor and your shin is straight up.
Use your heel to drive yourself into the starting position, and repeat with your other leg. Find an extended space to do these in, and try to go from one wall and back.
With your feet shoulder-width apart, bring both your arms to your side and parallel with the floor. Start with slow, small circles forward. Once you feel loose there, gradually increase the circles.
Once you feel like your tricep is good and stretched, reverse the direction of your circles.
With your feet hip-width apart in a straight posture, lift one knee to your chest and quickly switch to your other leg. It may help to jog in place to get the hang of the rhythm.
Make sure to engage your core the entire time, and do this for at least three minutes.
What’s the Importance of Stretching? Now You Know!
Now that you know the importance of stretching, it’s time for you to get started! Remember to start slowly, and always create a plan so you can track your progress.
Are you ready to take your stretching and exercising to the next level? Then contact us today! We’ve been helping people reach their fitness goals in Troy, MI, for years, and we can’t wait to help you too!