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Keep Your Eye on the Prize, but Don’t Forget to Stretch
The busier we get, the more we reason that skipping the pre and post-workout stretches is okay. But, did you know that stretching is what helps you reap the benefits from your workout? We are here to break down the different types of stretching and when to utilize each type.
Before breaking into your full work out, don’t forget to warm up. The most effective warm ups typically mimic the exercise you’re planning to do. So, if you’re going for a run, start with a light jog. Another way to warm up is by a few dynamic stretches—ones where your body is constantly moving. These will activate the muscles you’ll use during your workout, which will result in a more productive session. Not sure which dynamic stretches work best for you? Try some walking lunges, jumping rope, butt kicks, and/or jumping jacks! Find out what you like and commit to that stretch for a few minutes.
After you’ve finished and cooled down from your workout, it’s time for some static stretches. Unlike dynamic stretching, you will hold these poses for a predetermined amount of time, usually ranging between 15 to 45 seconds. Static stretches should include each side of your body. Examples range from standing or seated quadriceps stretches to an overhead triceps stretch. The greatest part about static stretching? It can be performed alone or with a workout partner! These stretches will help reduce the amount of energy being produced from your muscles. So in other words, static stretching is great for relaxing your muscles because they focus on individual muscles and certain muscle groups. When practicing, you must try to remain as relaxed as possible and try to stretch your muscles to their furthest point.
Stretching is a crucial habit to make routine in your fitness journey. Preparing your body for the stress it takes on during and after a workout is a key to a healthy future. In addition to stretching, it is also important to provide your body with the proper nutrients and hydration. If you’re looking for a quick snack for before or after your workout, have a smoothie with our Complete Variety Drink Mix, or one of our Complete Variety Nutrition Bars! These products will help provide proper nutrients to fuel your muscles.
What kind of stretches do you do before and after your workouts? Share with us in the comments below!