We are all in a hurry. We have places to go and things to do. Sometimes getting in a workout is just another item to check off on our busy schedule. So, you can just skip the stretching part of your workout and get straight on the assault bike, right? Wrong! Pre-workout and post-workout stretching is important.
Why stretch before you workout?
You are already aware that stretching before you workout raises your body's core temperature, increases blood flow and awakens your central nervous system. What you might not know is that pre-workout stretching:
- increases joint range of motion,
- increases body awareness,
- enhances stability and balance,
- makes your muscles more powerful.
The combination of these elements all add up to making your workout more efficient.
Why stretch after you workout?
You can go ahead and admit that you have skipped stretching after your workout too. This is as important or more than your pre-workout stretch. Here is what post-workout stretching does:
- minimizes the soreness,
- eliminates lactic acid buildup,
- improves muscle tone,
- gives energy levels a boost,
- signals your body to relax.
Post-workout stretching is what makes it easier for your body to recover more quickly and allow you to be more effective at whatever activity you have planned after your workout.
Five Stretches You Can Do Anywhere
Even when you don't work out, you should provide your body with a good daily stretch. Here are five stretches you can do anywhere:
Quad Stretch. Place one hand against a wall, table or chair, and use the other to pull one heel to your butt. Hold it for about 30 seconds and then switch legs.
Chest and Shoulders Stretch. While standing, place your hands behind your back and clasp them together. Lift your hands toward the ceiling as high as you are comfortably able. Hold it for 30 seconds and release.
Back Stretch. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your feet flat on the floor, your knees bent at 90 degrees, and extend both arms over your head. Tuck your chin and roll forward until your hands touch the floor. Hold it for 30 seconds and then roll back up.
Side Stretch. From the same position on the bench, clasp your hands together above your head and then reach to one side until you feel a pull along your side. Hold the position for 30 seconds and then repeat the same process reaching in the other direction.
Hamstring Stretch. From the same position on the bench or chair, extend your feet in front of you with your toes pointed and your arms extended over your head. Tuck your chin and roll down until you feel a pull in your hamstrings. Hold it for 30 seconds and then roll back up.
Maintaining a regular stretching routine whether you workout or not is a key to better blood flow, improved range of motion and the reduction of stress. Stretch daily and remember the importance of your pre-workout or post-workout stretch. Learn more about stretching from one of our world-class trainers today!