It’s always important to warm-up before a workout and cool-down after a workout. Stretching plays an important role in the quality of your workout and in avoiding injuries.
There are 2 main types of stretches: dynamic and static.
A dynamic stretch is a stretch in which the muscle is extended but that extension is not held.
This is a moving stretch.
Dynamic Stretching should be done before a workout.
By doing this type of stretching pre-workout, your muscles get warmed up and prepare to continue with more extensive movement.
a few examples:
- Ankle Bounce
- Leg Swings
- Hip Circles & Twists
- Arm Circles
- Butt Kicks
- Shoulder Circles
- and here’s a whole dynamic stretching routine for runners
A static stretch is a stretch in which the muscle is extended and held for a period of time while the body is still.
This is a resting stretch.
Static Stretching should be done after a workout.
By doing this type of stretching post-workout, after your heart rate is back to a resting rate, your muscles will be elongated, your flexibility and joint range of motion will be improved, and your body has the opportunity to correct muscle imbalances.
a few examples:
- Quadriceps Stretch
- Hamstring Stretch
- Trunk Rotation
- Arm & Shoulder Stretch
- Head Bend
- Triceps Stretch
- Pectoralis Stretch
- Yoga! (though this can fit into either category, depending on the type)
Both types of stretches play an important role in your health!
By doing the appropriate stretch at the appropriate time;
- your muscles correct imbalances
- you gain flexibility, balance, and control
- your workout will be stronger and more beneficial overall
- you avoid muscle strain and injury
What are your favorite stretches to do before and after a workout?