When Should I Stretch?
In general, stretching should be done before and after your main workout. But, the stretching that takes place before a workout is completely different from the stretching that needs to be done after the workout.
There are two types of stretching; Dynamic and Static. Both serve their purpose but are performed differently.
Static stretching is the traditional stretching method that everyone knowns about. You perform a stretch, slow your breathing and hold for 30 seconds.
Dynamic stretching on the other hand, is done to help bring blood flow to your body as you increase the range of motion in your joints. Dynamic stretching is very movement friendly. It usually involves doing exercises like buttkickers and leg swings to warm up and stretch your hamstrings and quads.
So, before your training session, you want to help get that blood pumping and get your joints all lubricated and ready for the taxing workout ahead. Dynamic stretching is your friend here. I prefer to spend my time doing dynamic stretches for the muscles that will be active in the workout ahead. So if it’s a back day, then my dynamic stretching will revolve around my lats, my shoulders and my biceps. I would be putting these muscles and joints through movements that are slight exaggerations of movements involved in my workout.
On the contrary, after your workout the trained body part is taxed, torn up, and filled with blood and lactic acid. So now our task is to force the muscle fibres to open up and let the blood flow in. This is where Static stretching is king. Slow your heart rate down, find your inner zen, pick a stretching exercise and hold the position for 30 seconds.
Hope this helped! The last segment will be a list of my favourite stretch exercise for each body part.
Make sure to share this out with friends and come back for the list of exercises!
Nik V Vasilyev
Digital Fitness Coach
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