Have you stretched today??
Stretching not only helps to improve your flexibility but also helps prevent injury and improves your range of motion to have better performance in the gym.
But what type of stretching should you be doing?
Ideally one should be using Dynamic stretching to warm up your muscles before your workout as they increase muscle temperature and decrease stiffness to prevent injury.
Static Stretching is more ideal as a warm down or to work on mobility on rest days. These stretches work to extend the muscles range of motion and increasing flexibility – also preventing injury. However it is important to not do these stretches before your workout as it can limit the muscles ability to react quickly.
If you are tight before a workout try warming up first and only holding static stretches for no longer than 90 seconds so that you can alleviate tightness without risking worsening performance and risking injury.
Some Stretching Tips:
Always be gentle!
Never push a stretch too far where it hurts – your flexibility will increase overtime and with consistency.
Breath into the stretch:
Holding your breath can actually be counterproductive as you are more likely to result in tightness and resistance than increase flexibility and motion. Instead, breathe into the stretch and breathe slowly.
Consistency is key!
It is recommended to stretch at least 3-5 times as week to see results, try implementing it into your wind down for bed or even in your morning routine.
Never stretch a cold muscle – especially dynamic stretches. This could result in injury – instead try some light cardiovascular activity prior to stretching.