If you want to create the most balanced of all fitness routines, one thing you’ll want to ensure you are adding to the program is stretching. Sadly, this is one element that most people completely overlook.
Instead, they are focused on getting their cardio training in and making sure they are weight lifting multiple times per week.
While this is great – both of those are very important to be doing, we must not discount the importance that stretching has.
Why do you need it and what type of stretching should you be doing?
Let’s go over a few of the key facts to know.
Benefits Of Stretching
The first big benefit of stretching is an increased range of motion. If you aren’t stretching, it’s highly likely that your muscles are going to become tight and tense, limiting the range of motion that you can move through. This can then prevent you from completing all your other exercises as you should.
Furthermore, the more tight and tense you are, the more you may struggle to just do everyday tasks as well. Limited range of motion is one of the top struggles of those who are getting older.
The second benefit of stretching is the fact it can help to reduce muscle soreness after your workout sessions. By getting stretching into the program, you can help clear away lactic acid that has developed during the workout and give your body a boost in terms of recovery. This may mean you can hit the gym sooner again, thus speeding your results along.
Finally, stretching is relaxing. It’s a good low-intensely means of activity that you can do any day of the week after a brief warm up to help de-stress and ensure your body feels as good as possible.
Types Of Stretching
Before you dive in and start stretching, it’s important to note that there are a couple different types of stretching that you’ll want to do: static stretching and dynamic stretching.
Static stretching is essentially moving into the stretched position and holding that there for a brief period of time – usually 30-60 seconds.
Dynamic stretching on the other hand is stretching that is done through movement. For example, performing a lunge with a twist at the bottom will be stretching out the lower body while also stretching out the core as you twist from side to side. This will help get you warmed up and ready to engage in more intense activity after that.
Both types of stretching are good to include in your program.
How To Stretch Properly For Maximum Results
So how do you stretch? First, if you are doing static stretching, always do ensure you perform a proper warm-up. This will be key otherwise you will risk tearing or pulling a muscle.
Once warm, move into the stretch and hold it there, without bouncing, for at least 30 seconds. Remember to breathe while doing this. Try and do the stretch two times through for maximum results.
If you are doing dynamic stretching, you can simply perform the stretches as part of your overall warm-up routine.So don’t overlook stretching as part of your program. It’s a must-have activity you need to be getting in place to see best results.