The When/How/Why of Stretching

Don’t kid yourself…we know you’re guilty of neglecting your muscles post-workout!

Here’s the thing about stretching: It’s a great concept and it’s necessary to prevent being ultra-sore the day after your work out…but once you’ve served your (gym) time, all you want to do is go home and veg out. If I could take an educated guess, I’d say that about 9 in 10 people don’t stretch enough (or at all!) after their workout.

As promised, here are a few pointers on proper stretch etiquette:

  1. Why?
    Stretching aids in muscle recovery…big time. It helps restore your body to its natural posture after a tough lifting session, so not stretching can leave your muscles tight and shortened.
  2. When?
    Don’t assume that everything you see at the gym is right! There are so many people that use static stretching before their workouts, which can be potentially harmful to your muscles. Make sure you stretch warm muscles post-workout to prevent pulls or tears.
  3. How?
    There are two types of stretches: Dynamic (=moving) and Static (=still). Dynamic stretches are fine to use pre-workout, as it warms your muscles and elevates your heart rate. Static stretching, on the other hand, must only be used after your workout. Make sure you hold a static stretch for 25-30 seconds to reap the full benefits.

Make sure to check out the diagram below for some basic Static stretches to add into your gym routine!

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