Stretching is super important for our bodies when we work out.  It can really make a difference in our performance and results.  Not only does it benefits our muscles, but it is also extremely beneficial for the mechanics of our whole body. But what is more important, stretching pre- or post-workout? Let’s find out!

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Pre-workout stretching: What does pre-workout stretching does to our bodies?

Many of us (and yes I include myself here) dismiss the importance of stretching before we start our work out.  However, a pre-workout stretch is essential for our performance. Stretching before our workout helps our muscles, connective tissues and joints to warm up which leads to greater range motion. So we can perform our exercises better. It also helps increase our body temperature which will make our muscles perform better. It is important to know which type of stretching methods you should do before a workout. Many people have good intentions and do stretch before they start working out, however they do the wrong type of stretches ?.

The type of stretches you should do before a workout are dynamic stretching methods .This type of stretching methods keep your body moving continuously and prepare your body for the moves you are about to do. They give the sign to your nervous system that your body is about to start moving and as a result your skills and heart rate will increase.

What about Post-workout stretching?

There is a key difference between both types of stretching. Pre-workout stretching is meant to get your body and muscles ready for your workout. While post-workout stretching is meant to relax your muscles and cool down. Following your workout you should perform  static stretches rather than dynamic ones.

Static stretches are the ones where you hold a position for about 10 to 20 seconds. It is important not to hold the position for more than 20 seconds as this may cause the muscle to over stretch and could result in an injury. They also allow you to focus on specific muscle groups such as hamstrings, hip flexors or any other area that feels tight, sore or contracted after a workout. Another good idea is to go for a short walk (this could be on a treadmill if you are at the gym or outdoors) as this will help your heart rate go back to normal. Five to 10 minutes is all you to make sure you do your post-workout stretching properly. As a last note, remember to stretch both sides of your body equally.

Okay so let’s have a quick recap of what we’ve learned in this article. 1) You should always stretch before you start and after you are done with your workout. 2) The type of stretches you should do pre- and post-workout are different. 3) Stretching pre- and post-workout can help you avoid injuries and help your muscles recover faster for your next workout. I hope you’ve learned something new by reading this article. Good luck stretching Fit Girls!

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