Stretching, It’s Mandatory!

When you workout, your muscles are contracting and releasing thousands of times. You are actually tearing your muscles apart when you lift and they have to repair themselves. This is why our bodies get sore. The reason we stretch is to prevent injury from the stress we are putting on our bodies. Stretching allows your body to release tension that may be in one area of your body. All of our muscles are connected and tightness in one area can lead to injuries in another. By stretching you can release this tension and prevent any problems that may occur in future. I am not saying you must have a vigorous stretching routine. There are so many simple stretches that you can do to minimize injury.

Before a workout, I always recommend warming up for about 5 minutes and then do some dynamic stretching. This lets the body know the muscles need to wake up and there is about to be work done.

Example Warm up:

  • Frankensteins
  • Open the Gates
  • Sumo squat stretch
  • Lizard lunges
  • Side to side reaches

After a workout you need to allow that body to cool down. These stretches help with soreness and recovery of your muscles and joints after working out. I believe these are mandatory after every workout. You don’t know what you could have strained in your workout and these stretches will allow the muscles to relax and go back to its normal position. Post-workout stretches are called static stretches.Static stretches should be held for about 30 seconds in each position. This allows for the fibers in your muscles to relax and gain elasticity.

Example Static Stretches:

  • Toe reaches
  • 1 leg toe reaches
  • Butterfly stretch
  • Pigeon stretch
  • Figure 4 hip stretch
  • Low back twist
  • Down dogs
  • Standing toe reaches

I would also recommend trying out a yoga routine. You could learn some stretches you may have never done before.

Find a routine that works for you, add it into your workout time and allow your body to move the way it was meant to move.