Why Should You Stretch?
Stop and Stretch! To have a well balanced workout program add stretching and this will increase your range of motion and your joint mobility. Work on both and you will steer yourself away from the major aches and pains that can occur from your workouts. Stretching also helps your body recover faster from the lactic acid build up that happens from lack of oxygen in your body after an intense workout.
You will want to stretch 2 different times in your workout.
- do not do a deep stretch but get in there and loosen up your joints
- this stretch is a more deep concentrated one. You will want to take a moment to concentrate on yourself, focus on your breathing with doing deep cycles of breathes, and think about the muscles while you are stretching to get your muscle fibers “unwebbed”.
Types of stretching
The first way is the traditional way, through static stretching. A static stretch is done while the body is at rest and is not moving. And the purpose of the stretch is to gradually lengthen the muscle to a point of mild discomfort. One of the most common mistakes people make with static stretching is not holding the stretch long enough. In order to receive the full-benefit of static stretching you need to help the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds (most people hold these types of stretches for less than five seconds!) And lastly, you should not move or bounce while performing static stretches. Take your time and hold your stretch and just breathe as you hold the position.
After your warm up you want to use dynamic stretching. This type of stretching uses motion and active movement around a joint in an effort to enhance range of motion. Please note, the reason this type of stretching helps to reduce the threat of injury not because you are warming the muscle but because having a healthy range of motion reduces the possibility of moving your body outside it’s abilities. When first looking at this type of stretching it often is confused with ballistic stretching. But the difference between ballistic stretching and dynamic stretching is that ballistic stretching incorporates moves that are jerky and bounce while stretching. An example of dynamic stretching would be a walking lunge or arms or wrist circles. The important thing to remember with dynamic stretching is that while you are moving during the stretch, you are always doing so with control and without momentum.
RL Personal Trainer& Health Coach