Stretching prior to a workout is imperative to your safety. The regular practice prevents injury and allows for an efficient workout. That’s because not only does stretching prevent muscle soreness and injury- removing lactic acid- but it also increases your range of motion. Whether you’re a teen athlete or a grown adult just getting back into fitness, stretching can help you sustain and even avoid muscle pulls and strains.
For starters, and this may seem obvious, but stretch the muscle group you are about to use. Your body has several groups of muscles and there are several different ways to work them out. And for every workout there is the right stretch for it. Utilizing dynamic stretching at the beginning of a workout will help to warm up most major muscle groups. The movements within the dynamic stretching routine mimic those movements used during the workout but at a less intense level thereby giving time for the muscles to warm up.
Cold muscles can be likened to an elastic band that needs to be warmed before it can be stretched. A light movement warm up (or dynamic warm up that we use here) for 5 to 8 minutes prior to exercising will add fluidity and mobility to the joints. This will bring blood flow to surrounding muscles and break a light sweat before you start a workout.
If you feel the need to skip either your post or pre-workout stretch (something we highly discourage) make it your pre workout stretch. It is absolutely necessary to stretch after you work out to alleviate the presence of lactic acid and as much residual pain as possible.
Making sure you incorporate at least one stretch session into every single workout regimen is crucial. This is because tight muscles have the tendency to tear easily, whereas well stretched muscles can endure much more without tearing. Stretching also balances your center, keeping your joint pairs in alignment, such as your hips or shoulders.