- What Is The Best Workout Machine To Lose Weight?Posted 58 days ago
- The Raw Food Diet PlanPosted 59 days ago
- Is Date Sugar A Healthy Alternative Sweetener?Posted 60 days ago
- The Engine 2 DietPosted 66 days ago
- Going On A Diet May Have The Same Effects As Drug WithdrawalPosted 67 days ago
- Lack Of Sleep Has Some Scary Side-EffectsPosted 70 days ago
- 7 Healthy Alternatives To CoffeePosted 71 days ago
- Why You Should Never Use Splenda And 3 Healthy AlternativesPosted 72 days ago
- The Volumetrics Diet PlanPosted 73 days ago
- How To Start Working Out In The MorningPosted 74 days ago
Stretch Before or After A Workout – I’m Confused
While most athletes know that it is a good idea to stretch in relation to their workout, the question often comes up as to whether it is best to do so before or after. The answer, however, it not exactly carved in stone. This is because stretching recommendations can differ from expert to expert and year to year.
There are a number of various athletes who insist that stretching before a workout or athletic performance is imperative – while others have gone for many years without any particular type of stretching regimen.
In addition, there has also been a great deal of back and forth with regard to what constitutes doing a pre-workout warm-up as versus conducting actual stretching exercises. Oftentimes, though, the right answer for all of the above can be dependent upon what type of workout or athletic activity you plan to participate in.
Stretching Versus Warming Up
A great deal of the confusion between stretching and warming up comes from a widespread misinterpretation regarding pre-workout or event activity. Yet, research has shown that warming up in and of itself has no actual effect on an athlete’s range of motion. However, it is important to note that when a warm-up is also combined with pre-event stretching, the athlete is much more likely to achieve a range of motion increase.
There are some who may be misguided into thinking that stretching prior to exercise will help in reducing soreness or injury. However, clinical research has suggested otherwise. Therefore, if the prevention of injury is an athlete’s main objective, then it is likely best to limit his or her stretching activity prior to exercise, but subsequently to increase their time doing warm-up activities.
Types of Stretching
There are primarily two key types of stretches. These include static stretches and dynamic stretches. With a static stretch, the athlete typically performs what most people think of as the “typical” movements. This entails such activity as putting their arms straight out to the sides with their palms at right angles to the ground and then rotating their palms to the rear. Other types of static stretching involve standing upright and pulling each leg individually up towards the buttocks and then holding the position for between five and ten seconds. This will help in stretching out the quad muscles in the legs.
Dynamic stretches require more cardio type of movements. For instance, the athlete could stand erect and slowly begin to swing their arms back and forth across their body in a hugging manner. Stretches known as dynamic trunk rotations involve standing erect with the athlete’s feet at the width of their shoulders and their hands on their hips. Then, while flexing their knees, the athlete will turn from side to side. The dynamic types of stretches tend to help in “loosening” up the body.
What Type of Stretching Is Best?
In determining which type of stretching is best, it may also be dependent upon the type of activity that the athlete is preparing for. For instance, static stretching tends to be somewhat easier to do. In addition, research has shown that continuous stretching without periods of rest in between could be better than applying a stretch, relaxing, and then reapplying it.
Some experts feel that in order to best prepare for a workout or athletic event, the best way to go about it is to take part in dynamic stretches first. By doing this light activity, the athlete will help in raising their heart rate while at the same time readying their muscles for their upcoming exercise.
It is also important to keep in mind that the primary goal of stretching is to develop and maintain a good range of motion around certain joints in the body. It should be noted, too, that stretching – as well as releasing the stretch – with muscles that are tight should go well together with the strengthening of weaker muscles.
Studies have shown that the longer term effects of stretching on an athlete’s range of motion indicate that after approximately 6 weeks, those athletes who stretched for 30 seconds per muscle on a daily basis had increased their range of motion quite a bit more than those who only participated in stretching exercises for 15 seconds each day per muscle.
On top of helping athletes to improve their range of motion, stretching can be very relaxing. Most athletes today make use of stretching both before and after exercise for the purpose of maintaining good balance in their overall body mechanics. Yet, one of the biggest benefits that has been found with regard to stretching is that is simply feels good.