Stretching before and after any kind of workout is really important because it helps to warm up your body, get your blood flowing and prepare the main muscle groups that you plan on working during the workout, which decreases your risk for injury.
For example, if you are going to do lower body strength or running, you should probably stretch your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves before your exercise.
The warmup keeps your heart rate elevated, which pushes more blood into your muscles. It may pick your heart rate up from an average of 70 beats per minute to a minimum of 107 beats per minute.
Additionally, scientific research indicates that stretching encourages muscle growth.
Why You Should Strech Before And After Workout
- To increase your range of motion.
- Reduce muscle tension.
- Increase relaxation.
- To avoid muscle strains.
- Avoid joints strains.
- Enhance muscular coordination.
- Reduce the risk of back problems.
- Increase blood circulation.
- Increase energy levels.
- To prepare your body for the workout.
- Reduce muscular soreness.
Dynamic Stretching Before Workout
The act of stretching elongates muscles and increases the body’s range of motion, that is why it is very important to stretch before any kind of exercise.
Dynamic stretching is the best warm-up before you start your workout. It is a strategy used to improve mobility through active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion.
It involves movement and muscular effort for the stretch to occur.
Benefits of dynamic stretching:
- It activates muscles you will use during your workout.
- enhances muscular power.
- Dynamic stretching keeps your heart rate elevated and your muscles warm while also mobilizing your joints.
- Improves performance when done before an activity that requires a lot of power, strength or speed.
Examples of dynamic stretches:
- leg swings
- arm circles
- Body weight squat
- Body weight lunges
- Jumping jack
- Marching warm up drill
- Jog up and down stairs
- High kicks
- T push-ups
Static Stretching After Workout
Stretching after a workout is equally important as it will improve relaxation, reduce muscle soreness as well as help to get your muscles back to their original length.
Static stretching is where muscles are extended and held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time, it takes the muscles to their full length and holds them for 10 to 30 seconds.
Benefits of static stretching:
- It helps to reduce muscle fatigue.
- Static stretching helps your body to move excess lactic acid out of your muscles.
- Helps you avoid post-workout soreness.
- Will get the muscle back to its original length.
Examples of static stretches:
- Standing quad stretch
- Forward Fold
- Triceps stretch
- Shoulder stretch
- Lower back stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Groin stretch
- Chest stretch