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We’ve all spent a fair bit of time cooped up this year. That said, staying active and healthy has been a bit more of a challenge than usual. Some are lucky enough to go back to the gym. However, many are still having to exercise at home or outdoors. Exercise is, of course, a great thing, but in order to make the most of your workout, it’s really important to include stretching before and after a session. In this article, we will go over the benefits of stretching after workout and before!
The stretching benefits before you begin your workout are vital. To explain, it warms up and loosens the muscles. Better yet, stretching reduces impact and the risk of injury while exercising.
Start by standing on a good quality fitness mat and begin with a few gentle arm rotations. Next, move on to full leg stretches. It can sometimes help to use knee supports during your pre-workout stretches. You can do this in order to minimize the impact on joints during your session.
Once you have your stretching out of the way, make sure you have the right equipment for your workout. Check out Bowflex‘s revolutionary home gym equipment.
A fresh approach
If you prefer to be out in the open air before your workout then taking a short and light jog is a good way of warming up the whole body. Alternatively, if you’re a yoga fan, try beginning your workout with a downward dog. The benefits of stretching this way include loosening the muscles while calming the mind before for your exercise.
We all know the importance of drinking water during and after a workout, and this is just as important beforehand. During your pre-workout, keep a water bottle handy to ensure that you’re fully hydrated before even beginning your proper workout.
Performing stretches after a workout is vital in preventing the muscles from seizing up, which can lead to cramps. This also helps to improve blood flow and therefore prevents muscle ache and stiffness.
Immediately after your workout, perform a series of hamstring stretches as this will help to loosen tightened muscles – particularly after long cardio sessions. During this time, taking advantage of an audio workout routine. Moreover, one can help you to focus your cool down and help you avoid distractions at the end of your session. Focus is important as many people tend to rush their post-workout stretches resulting in muscle stiffness. One of the benefits of stretching after a workout is that it gives you a chance to wind down and to shift your focus to the rest of your day.
Next, using your fitness mat, perform some seated spinal twists. This sounds complicated but a trainer can help you to put together a series of post-workout stretches which will work for you.
We know trailers are far and hard to come by this year, and even getting to the gym can be a challenge. This is why we recommend Mirror, which you can use in unison with each of these exercises. Mirror offers thousands of workout classes (including feedback tailored to your specific goals) and integrates seamlessly into your home as a sleek mirror. We know this isn’t exactly an in-person trailer, but it can really help you improve your form and stay motivated.
If you tend to find straight stretches a little dull, cycling is a great way of loosening up and getting those muscles working (as long as you don’t wear yourself out before your workout even begins). Why not invest in an electric cycle so that you can combine your journey to the gym with a gentle stretching session. If your gym is still off limits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t worry! You can still get onboard with this fun stretching exercise with a home studio cycle.
The don’ts of stretching
While the benefits of stretching are significant, there are a few things to avoid:
Injury – If you have, or are recovering from, an injury you should take great care when stretching. Start with some gentle stretching exercises – if you feel a slight pull or slight discomfort, this is fine, but stop stretching straight away if you feel pain.
Ballistic stretching – You should never attempt this by yourself unless you’re extremely experienced as this is a highly advanced form of stretching. Consult a trainer before incorporating this into your routine. They’ll be able to assist you in doing it the right and limiting the risk of injury.
When performed correctly, stretching should become a natural part of your pre and post workout routine. Not only will this help you to warm up and loosen your muscles, but it can also help with your overall fitness and help to keep your workouts on track. As with any kind of exercise, discontinue if you begin to feel pain. Remember, never attempt a complex routine without professional guidance. With all the benefits of stretching after workout and before, your bound to feel better! Happy stretching!
If you’re shying away from working out because of sweat, don’t fret. Check out How to Tackle Excessive Sweating. So you’ve learned about the benefits of stretching and exercising. What about getting proper sleep? To learn more check out Drinks That Help You Fall Asleep and Foods That Can Help You Sleep Better.