Updated: Nov 9, 2021
You won't be sore anymore after reading this post!
Have you ever wondered what exactly you are suppose to do before a workout? If you are new to fitness, or even been working out for a while, there are awesome benefits to stretching the right way before and after a workout to benefit you the most. Daily stretching can have some awesome benefits including helping increase flexibility and mobility, but this post is going to discuss how to stretch before and after a workout. You can check out this video here to see all the stretches mentioned in this post in action.
Stretching is awesome. Stretching before and after a workout increases your range of motion, helps improve your performance, and lowers your chance of injury. Stretching is basically making your ligaments and muscles longer by decreasing stiffness. There are different types of stretches and some types of stretching actually decreases performance, while other types actually help you increase muscle force. Stretches typically fall into two main categories: dynamic stretches and static stretches.
Get That Blood Pumping: Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic Stretches are controlled movements that prepare your muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues for performance and safety. These movements are performed before a workout and are usually functional exercises that take joints through a full range of motion - this helps get the joints and muscles ready for exercise.
A dynamic stretching routine is awesome because the movements increase muscle temperature and decrease stiffness (which is what you want to do before you perform any sport or exercise routine). Again, the point of these movements is to get you ready to workout. You are mimicking the movements that will appear in your workout and preparing those muscle groups beforehand. When you actively move those muscles, it increases blood flow circulation, which increases muscle temperature. When muscle temperature increases, it increases flexibility and decreases stiffness - hence the term “warming up”. These types of movements also improve speed and agility and ability to accelerate during activity.
Whew - that’s enough science for now, let’s go into some actual examples of dynamic stretches you can incorporate into your routine.
Dynamic Stretches to Incorporate into Your Warm Up Routin
These movements are best done for about 5-10 minutes before you begin your actual workout. You want to perform the movements for about 10-12 reps.
This is one of the best stretches ever in my opinion. It really opens you up and works multiple muscle groups. You start this stretch in a downward dog and go into a lunge. Place the opposite hand on the ground and then open your chest to one side to feel the stretch. You want to actively move through this position.