Stretch Before And After Your Workout

It’s estimated that in 2019, approximately 20 percent of the population in the U.S. had a fitness facility membership of some kind, that means over 60 million individuals had a membership to a fitness facility. Sometimes we find ourselves faced with circumstances that don’t allow us to make it to the gym, our work out classes, or any other places that allow us to participate in physical activities outside of the home. When you do find yourself in a situation that doesn’t allow you to use that gym membership, think about what you can do at home to stay mentally and physically active, for many people that means working out at home. Before your home workout, don’t forget to properly warm up and stretch. Don’t rush into that run or workout, a proper warmup and stretching routine can help prevent injuries regardless of your age and ability level. Start with a simple warm up and stretching routine. Walk, jog, or run in place. Everyone’s abilities are different, so do what is the best and safest for you. After you jog in place for a 60 seconds or more, try doing some jumping jacks, followed by high knees. Do a few rounds of each of these, your warm up should be 5 minutes or longer. After getting warmed up, it is time to stretch. Remember that it is important to warm up prior to stretching.

There are two different types of stretching, Dynamic and Static. Dynamic stretching is just that, dynamic, it is most effective to do after your warm up and before your workout. It incorporates movement into the stretch, working multiple muscle groups into one movement. A great example of a dynamic stretch is your standard walking lunge. Incorporating these stretches into your routine will activate muscle groups by simulating workout movements. Now that you are warmed up and you have stretched, go through your planned workout. Everyone has different abilities and skill levels, static stretching which we will talk about below may be better for you than dynamic stretching, if so, use static stretching in it’s place. Once again do what is the best and safest for you

Now that you have concluded a great workout don’t forget to reward your body with a few more stretches. Mentioned earlier, static stretching is great to incorporate into your routine after your workout. Now that your muscles have a healthy blood flow, utilize static stretches to increase flexibility and lengthen your muscles. Static stretching can be thought of as the type of stretching that you did in gym class. It focuses on stretching the muscles from a stationary position, pinpointing one muscle group. For example, standing in an upright position and bending at the waist to touch your toes and holding that position for 10-20 seconds is considered a static stretch. Take your time and include multiple static stretches and pinpoint those areas that you targeted in your workout.

Take your time, warm up, stretch, workout and then stretch some more. Your body and mind will thank you.