Should You Incorporate Pre-Workout Stretching into Your Health and Fitness Routine?
Going from cold to hot too quickly is never a good idea, so it would make sense that you should warm up your body before crushing a hard workout. A great warm-up is as crucial as exercise and should always be incorporated into your health and fitness routine.
Skipping a pre-workout warm-up can result in increased stiffness, torn muscles, reduced mobility, even injury. And these things could negatively impact the results of your health and fitness goals. Your warm-up routine should be low intensity, like light walking, jogging, or biking for five to ten minutes.
Completing a warm-up gets the blood flowing in your body and prepares it for more movement, and pre-workout stretching takes it one step further. Once you have warmed those muscles up, do some quick stretches before diving into your actual workout. Pre-workout stretching helps to loosen tight muscles and make them more flexible for your workout, giving you a more complete range of motion.
There are two types of stretching: dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching allows the muscles and joints to focus on mobility. And static stretching involves posturing the muscles and joints and holding them for a period of time. When it comes to pre-workout stretching, dynamic stretching is the way to go.
Here are some things to keep in mind for your pre-workout stretch session:
Some of us are all about the weights, while some of us may run or cycle, so we shouldn’t all be doing the same pre-workout stretches. You want to introduce the muscles you’re planning to focus on that day to the type of movement they should expect.
Focusing on the muscle groups that tend to be tighter will help provide a more productive pre-workout stretching routine. Common areas of tightness are the lower back, hip flexors, and traps or neck.
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is rushing a pre-workout stretch session, or they don’t bother stretching at all. But remember to improve your muscles they need some attention, so always be sure to stretch as long as you need.
We always recommend focusing on elongating the hip flexor complex, doing a dynamic quad stretch, and a few cat-cow yoga stretches to lubricate the back muscles and joints.
Just like weight lifting, form is important because it reduces the risk of injury and maximizes results, which are important to your health and fitness goals. When you set up your initial personal training session with us, we will go over the best stretches for you and help you with your form.
If you need more recommendations, we are always here for you, and we would be happy to go over pre and post-workout stretches with you at your next personal training session.