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Make Sure to Add this to Your Workout Routine!

Stretching is an often underestimated component of a well-rounded fitness routine. Many individuals tend to skip or rush through stretching before and after workouts, believing it to be less important than the actual exercises. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In this blog we will go through the importance of stretching, how you should stretch before and after workouts, and the long-term positive effects.

The first and most important part about stretching is that it helps with injury prevention. By moving your body into more limbered movements, especially before and after muscle shortening movements, like weight lifting and running, your body will stay looser both in the workout and in day to day so you can move your best without a weird tweak.

Paragon Supplements athlete Bobby Zavala Stretching

This is because by stretching you are enhancing your flexibility. Having a larger range of motion will allow you to do more and build more. It creates more function leading to better performance in your workout. An extremely tight muscle is a high risk for injury muscle. By avoiding the tightness your muscles will be happier and healthier over all, and can even limit muscle soreness. Sounds good right? So, lets dive into the types of stretches you can do to help your muscles.

There are two main forms of stretching that you want to integrate into every workout. First, we have dynamic stretching. This is what you want to do before your workout to warm up your muscles. Dynamic means that you are constantly moving through stretching positions creating blood flow and not going for a super intense stetch. These help to open up the area you are planning to workout (hip, shoulders, etc) making it so that when doing those movements you will not pull or tear any of the working muscles. The more often you do this the better your movements will become in your workout and the likelihood of an injury during activity is greatly reduced.

The next form is static stretching, which is done after the workout. This is the form most people think of when thinking of stretching. You are choosing movements/ stretches to stay in and hold allowing for the full elongation of the muscle. This is important after your workout because during your workout you will have shortened your muscles through movement and muscle tears. To ensure you will not lose mobility and have better movements in future workouts static stretching is key!

So, now we know the best ways to stretch ourselves and some of the shorter benefits that we may see within a week or even a day but what about the long-term benefits?

First, and something many people don't think about, is how stretching actually helps reduce stress. Many of us go to the gym because it helps us whined down and not think about our hectic days. But putting large strain on our bodies can put added stress into our muscles. Just as the workout helps with mental stress stretching helps greatly with the physical stress. As your body relaxes so can your mind allowing everything to feel better in the long run.

By reducing this stress you also can target your weakest areas and especially your pain areas. Many of our pains are because of overly tight muscles that we have not given the proper care. In time stretching continuously will help heal various aches and pains.

All in all, stretching is not difficult and has so many benefits there is no reason for one not to throw it into their routine. I know it may seem a bore and not as exhilarating as your workout but it can help heal your body and mind allowing you to keep doing what you love longer. Give it a try and let's keep working to become the best versions of ourselves.


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