Stretching is a way to keep your body open and access a range of motion that is freer and more fluid. Stretching can help decrease the risk of injury and sore muscles. Stretching can be done before, during, or after a workout.
Important to note when stretching:
Hold each stretch (if it is static) for at least 30 seconds. Give your body time to accept the length. This is much safer for your tissues.
Don’t consider stretching a warmup. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. Before stretching, warm up with a light walk, a jog, or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. You may want to consider stretching after your workout when your muscles are warm.
Stretching before a workout can:
Get Fresh Oxygen Flow
Increases Energy and Motivation
Stretching during exercise can:
Give you an energy boost
Create better body awareness
Reduce lactic acid build up
Deepen body movement
Stretching after exercise can:
Immediate Muscle Repair
Create More Flexibility
Protect Your Joints
Reduce Risk of Cramping
Cool down your body
Research shows that those who don’t take time to stretch post-workout will pay for it later, with sore and stiff muscles and more risk for injury.
If you are looking for a good addition to you stretching routine, you may want to check out foam rolling, especially if you have a part of your body that is particularly tight. Foam rolling can increase circulation and help lower your heart rate.