Stretching Before or After a Workout – Is it Really That Important?

Lacey
October 30, 2020 0 Comment

Stretching Before or After a Workout – Is it Really That Important?

Sometimes you might wonder, is doing stretches really important to do? The answer is very simple — yes, it is very important. While there are plenty of reasons to stretch your muscles before and after your workout, we at MASJ will explain we believe it’s important.

Why is it Important to Stretch?

Stretching keeps your muscles strong, flexible, and healthy. Without stretching, your muscles become shortened and tight. Your range of motion is affected greatly, and if you do any strenuous activities you risk damaging your muscles. Imagine your muscles are like a big rubber band. While new rubber bands are flexible and can expand, older rubber bands you haven’t used can become dry and brittle, and snap. Much like a new rubber band, stretching your muscles allows you to be flexible and expand without the fear of snapping. 

Regularly stretching your muscles helps to keep them long, lean, and flexible so they’re ready for any activity you throw at them. Stretching also helps your performance overall in physical activities, as well as increases your blood flow to your muscles.

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Some Easy Stretches

While you don’t need to stretch every muscle in your body, it would be wise to stretch out the muscles used for mobility, which are in your lower extremities. Stretching things like your calves, hamstrings, and ship flexors in your pelvis can help make moving around a lot easier and smoother. Some good stretches for these areas are the standing hamstring stretch, butterfly stretch, and lunging hip flexor stretch. Before we get into how to do them though, first you have to understand that stretching is not a warm up, and before you start stretching you should take 10 minutes to warm up by taking a quick walk, jog, or bike.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your arms by your side. As you bend forward at the hip, slowly exhale while keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed. Slowly wrap your arms around the back of your legs and hold the pose for at least 45 seconds. After 45 seconds, bend your knees and slowly roll back up.

Butterfly Stretch

Sit on the floor with your feets soles against each other and your knees facing out to the sides. Hold onto your ankles or feet and slowly lower yourself towards your feet as far as you can while pressing your knees to the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds at least.

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

Start by kneeling on your left knee and place your right foot flat on the ground in front of you with your right knee slightly bent. Slowly lean forward, stretching your left hip towards the floor. Squeeze your buttocks. Hold that pose for at least 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Of course here is a video because visual demonstrations are better