So everyone knows that stretching is a pretty important part of the exercising process, right? Well you should if you don’t already! So you know that it is important, but do you know why? Maybe you do, but I’m going to assume that you don’t!
Many people will try and tell you that if you don’t stretch before you exercise, you will suffer from a serious injury. This is actually not very factual. Stretching before you exercise will only decrease your chances of being injured while exercising. There is always a chance of getting injured, no matter how much you stretch; heck, you may even get injured from stretching! But the chance is much greater if you don’t stretch out your muscles before rigorous exercise.
The first thing you need to know about stretching, is to stretch! Obviously… But more specifically the two times that you should be stretching should be before and after your workout. Stretching before your workout will help warm up and loosen the muscle, preparing it for your workout. And after your workout, stretching will serve to “cool-down” you muscle, relaxing it so that you won’t get as sore from working out.
But hey, those aren’t the only times that you can stretch. Stretching throughout the day will most certainly improve you flexibility. So pop in a movie and just do some stretches; hey you could even stretch while you are reading this hub! Speaking of flexibility… here is my next point:
Gaining flexibility, through stretching, allows you to have a full range of motion. What is full range of motion, you ask? Well you see those huge guys at the gym who care about getting their upper-body big, but nothing else? Those guys, most likely, do not have full range of motion in their arms or even their mid-section. Being flexible will help ensure that you can move your body in normal movements without really trying.
Just a couple quick notes about stretching: You should stretch areas of your body that are going to be in use in your workout… That may sound obvious but, more than likely, you’ve stretched a muscle out that isn’t going to be used. Now there is nothing wrong with stretching out your whole body, but make sure to include the area that is going to get used. You don’t want to stretch out your arms when you hop on a treadmill. What kind of sense does that make? Also, stretch good… What I mean is don’t hold a stretch for 2 seconds and then quit. You need to make sure you get in a good stretch that is going to wake the whole muscle up, that should usually last for about 10-15 seconds.
The benefits that come from stretching are many, it might even help you