Why Do You Need to Stretch Before a Workout?
Stretching is an essential and an integral part of every workout program, especially mobility stretches because flexibility is considered to be part of the five most important components of everyone’s fitness It should be included in all regular training regimes and these are the main reason why:
Reduction of Injury Risk
- When a person is flexible they reduce their risk of becoming injured from extensive movements and this allows you to safely increase your range of joint movement and motion.
- Stretching helps to stop the degeneration of your joints and muscles.
- The act of stretching your muscles loosens up and prepares the body for the impact of exercise; this reduces the chance of any injury. A strong muscle that is pre-stretched is better able to resist stress than an un-stretched muscle.
- Stretching helps to improve a person’s posture, especially stretching the shoulders, chest and lower back. The flexibility gained from stretching in the hip flexors, hamstrings and muscles attached to the pelvis help to relieve stress on the spine and nerves of the back reducing the chances of lower back pain.
- The body’s stress levels can decrease with stretching because as they warm up they hold less tension, this allows your muscles to relax properly. Muscles that are always tense tend to cut off much of their own blood circulation causing oxygen starvation and damage.
- Stretching helps to increase the blood supply to all areas of the body especially the muscles and joints. This provides the necessary nutrient to reach the places it’s needed quickly and efficiently.
- Mobility stretches improve the mechanical efficiency and performance of joints because it makes them more energy efficient, they will also improve your “body awareness” and increase your body’s ability to learn and perform different types of skilled movements.
Post Exercise, Stretching
- Stretching after exercise or maintenance exercise is now considered to be just as important as pre-exercise stretches. By stretching the muscles you used during your workout session gets the muscles back to their normal length, which can help to alleviate any potential pain or stiffness because it reduces the tightening and shortening effect that often happens while exercising.
- Usually, a maintenance stretch is held for between 0 to 5 seconds and repeated five to ten times.
- This is often important for females as it helps relieve or reduce the chances of dysmenorrhea (painful Menstruation).
You Should Avoid Stretching
- If you have had any recent bone fractures, strains, sprains or cramps except under the direction of your medical provider such as a physiotherapist.
- If your joints or muscles are infected or inflamed.
- If you have any signs of osteoporosis or are suffering from gout or other forms of arthritis.
- If you feel any unusual pain when moving the joint or the muscles when stretched.
- If you are suffering from any type of bold disorder or skin disease.
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