Once upon a time, stretching was the norm before a workout. Usually this involved a lot of toe touching, perhaps a foot propped up and a bend forward for the hamstrings, and an occasional calf stretching then…..
Research showed these types of stretches were ineffective at improving performance. So stretching switched to a post workout activity. The idea was to stretch the muscles once that had been given the proper chance to warm up. Today, fitness professionals have settled on a few guidelines, supported by ongoing research. Should I take the time to stretch? YES! Before and after.
- Dynamic Stretching gently engages muscles pre-workout, and prepares them for more demanding movements.
- Static Stretching is what many of us would consider the “traditional” stretching. This involves stretching a specific body part, holding it for 15 to 30 seconds. Dynamic stretches are a better choice before your workout. The type of stretches really depend on your goals. Someone who is jogging will have a different warm up than someone who is strength training.
When you stretch you lengthen your muscles. You also give your joints a greater range of mobility. Stretching helps make everyday activities easier, prevents injuries, and helps make your muscles longer, leaner and stronger.