When should I stretch?
There are different types of stretching. These are dynamic (moving) and static stretching. Each should be done during different times during your workout. For example, the static stretch should be used at the end of a workout to increase range of motion (ROM). Dynamic stretching can be done at the beginning of a workout and is important to do after a 'go until you sweat' warm-up.
- Make sure you read how to perform each stretch as improper form can cause injury
- Stretching helps with increase synovial fluid (the oil of our joints)
- People who stretch more have more benefits of stretching
- Stretching also helps decrease lactic acid that is produced after exercise
- Using static stretching before exercise can reduce strength and power and therefore should be used after exercise only
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Flexibility is defined as a joint's ability to move freely through a full and normal range of motion (ROM).
This refers to passive stretching where a stretch is held in a specific position for a certain amount of time. This time is usually 15-30 seconds in length.
Dynamic muscular movements, such as a bouncing bent over hamstring stretch (advanced athletes). This is used to increase range of motion but is dangerous if you are not warmed up. If you are learning how to do the splits, this type is used for getting there. NOTE: Ballistic stretching contracts the muscle to protect it from hyper-extension.
Perform dynamic (arm circles, trunk rotations etc.) stretches before exercise will help prevent injuries during actual exercise.
- 30 Trunk Rotations
- 20 Arm Circles
- 20 Knee Rotations (hands on your knees)
- 30 Abdominal Twists
- 15 Lat Side Bends
- 20 Standing Leg Lifts
You should be holding your stretches for 20-30 seconds and if you want to increase your range of motion you can do two or three sets.
- Chest and Anterior Deltoid Stretch
- Groin Stretch (Butterfly Knees)
- Hip Flexor
- Hurdlers Stretch
- Thigh or Quad
- Tricep and Lat Stretch
- Abdominal Twists