If you are involved in any kind of group training or fitness program, then you may have heard the many debates and arguments when it comes to stretching before and after a workout and if it is really necessary. While it may not be officially proven that stretching can definitely help prevent any type of injury or muscle soreness following a workout, some evidence has pointed to it being beneficial for increasing your stamina, power, and performance.
Before a Workout
You have probably heard that you should never bounce during a stretching exercise because you can tear your muscle, or if you don’t stretch before a workout, then you are probably going to hurt yourself. But how much of that is actually true?
The American College of Sports Medicine (The ACSM) recommends stretching exercises before a workout at a minimum of two times a week while allowing sixty seconds per exercise. The focus of the stretching should be on the major muscle groups.
Why? They claim that regular stretching can help improve your overall flexibility and can even work to improve your posture or help any back pain you may experience. Stretching can also help increase circulation to these muscles being worked and can greatly improve your range of motion.
After a Workout
Some light stretching and light walking are recommended following a workout to help increase circulation and steadily lower your heartbeat after your exercise. Also known as a cool down routine, after workout stretching may even help decrease any soreness you feel following the workout.
When stretching, it is a good idea to place more of the focus on the muscles that feel tighter than usual and the ones you find yourself working on more. Static stretches are best after a workout and can also help you relieve any stress you may be feeling.
It provides you some extra time to cool down and ready yourself to conquer the remainder of the day while feeling great and allowing your body the chance to recuperate following your workout.
If you are still unsure of where you stand when it comes to stretching before or after your workout or if it really is beneficial to your body or not, then meeting with a personal trainer may help you get the answers to the questions you need.
A personal trainer can also help get you on the path to health and happiness based on your own specific training and health requirements.
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