Stretching is one of those things people hardly think about as being a necessity before and/or after working out, especially males. I know so many guys who never stretch, but lift all of the time. If you’re lifting and never stretching, you will lose mobility in your joints. For example, I know a couple guys who couldn’t even straighten their arms above their head from lifting and not stretching. I know people who don’t stretch and pull or strain muscles, or end up way more sore than they would have been if they stretched properly, which will cause tightness and a lot of tension. You have to remember stretching is a part of working out, if you want to help prevent injury. The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to have some type of injury.
Before I work out I do what is called, dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is where you use movement and gradually, with full control, increase your range of motion. Dynamic stretching is a great way to get the stretch in, meanwhile warming up your muscles. I will do a few stretches for about a total of five minutes just to get my muscles warm and ready. A few good dynamic stretches I like to do are:
For arms: arm circles (front, backward, small, big), arm scissors, arm swings (pronated and supinated)
For legs: lateral lunges, leg swings (front and side), knee grabs, calf raises
For back: twisting, reach side to side (straight up and bent over at 90 degrees)
After I work out I do what most of you think of when you think stretching, static stretching. Static stretching is reaching and holding for a certain amount of seconds at a time. When I am doing my static stretching it usually takes me about 15 minutes total after my work out is complete. I hold my stretches for about 30 seconds and am very aware of my breathing, by taking slow, deep breaths. I try to really feel the stretch and the breathing helps get oxygen to your muscles, so you become more comfortable in the stretch. It is also a great way to cool down and get your heart rate back down.
Stretching is SO important and you will start to feel so much better if you are stretching before and after work outs. If you guys don’t know what some of the dynamic stretches are, or you need more ideas of some, or just have any other questions, please feel free to contact me, whether it be through the contact page, message on social media, or if you have my number send me a text!
Now don’t forget to stretch 😉