“Stretching before and after a workout is OVERRATED”, not true!

Is it crucial to stretch before and after a workout? Today, people rush to complete their tasks due to their busy schedules. Balancing work, family, and friends and maintaining one's health can be overwhelming. As a result, people tend to skip stretching before and after their workout routines. However, it is essential to take the time to do a warmup and post-workout stretch to relax your muscles, improve flexibility, and decrease the risk of injury.

According to Stretch Zone, our muscles are like rubber bands; the more we stretch them, the stronger and more flexible they become. Consistency is vital since failing to extend can lead to a decrease in mobility in joints and muscles. Personal trainers always encourage clients to warm up before a workout and stretch afterward.

If you don't stretch, you may experience a reduction in your flexibility, which can lead to a decrease in your range of motion. It could also increase your risk of injury, especially if you're a runner. Furthermore, without regular Stretching, your muscles will become stiff and pull on joints, leading to unnecessary discomfort and pain.

Stretching before and after a workout has many benefits, including a better range of motion, eliminating lactic acid, reducing pain and soreness, and improving posture. Stretching relaxes muscles and lessens stiffness, which can lead to pain—additionally, stretching before exercising warms up muscles to handle the stress of a workout, resulting in better performance. Trying before and after your workout, is it necessary? The answer is YES!

What specific stretches need to be done before and after a workout?

Many fitness experts recommend stretching before and after a workout: Dynamic Stretching pre-workout to warm up the muscles and Static Stretching after to eliminate lactic acid and decrease soreness.

Dynamic Stretching is an active motion that moves your body through a complete range of motion. The purpose is to warm up muscles and an individual's flexibility to improve performance and prevent injury. For example, many runners perform dynamic stretches before a workout or race to improve their speed, agility, and acceleration.

An individual should perform the following dynamic stretches before a workout. Dynamic stretches are considered movements that focus on a full range of motion.

  • Air Squats
  • High Knees
  • Leg Swings
  • Lunges
  • Plank Walkouts
  • Arm Circles
  • Standing Toe Tops
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Hip Circles
  • Butt Kicks

Two or three rounds of 10 reps of the above movements would be considered an adequate warmup.

Conversely, after a workout or postwork, an individual or athlete should focus on Static Stretching or Stretching that involves holding a movement for some time, usually 30 seconds. Static stretches are still and do not involve activity.

Static stretches focus on problem areas or areas stressed during a workout. This type of Stretching should result in an individual feeling an extension or pull in a muscle but should not be associated with pain.

Static stretches can consist of:

  • Shoulder Stretch
  • Toe Touch
  • Samson Stretch
  • Butterfly Stretch
  • Quadricep Stretch
  • Cobra Stretch
  • Knee to Chest
  • Cat/Cow Stretch
  • Side Be
  • Calf Stretch

The bottom line is that we can all benefit from incorporating a warmup before our workout, involving dynamic stretches and participating in some static stretches post-workout to eliminate lactic acid stiffness and prevent soreness.

At Goal Patrol - Hitting Your Personal Best Life, we understand the importance of staying active and respecting your body's signals. Our team of dedicated life coaches and personal trainers can provide expert guidance on maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. We've got you covered if you have any questions or need support with fitness training. Don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected] for more information about our services.

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