Stretching is an important part of any physical activity for casual fitness fans and seasoned athletes alike. Engaging in proper stretching of the muscles before working out may help decrease the risk of pain from an injury, improve range of motion, and even improve performance. Here are four expert techniques to try.
- Warm up Before Stretching
One of the biggest exercise misconceptions is that stretching constitutes a warm-up. In fact, it’s important to warm up muscles with 5 to 10 minutes of light walking or jogging before stretching. Stretching cold muscles can easily cause an injury.
- Stretch After a Workout
Stretching after a workout may also assist with pain and injury prevention. Because muscles are already warm from exercise, this type of stretching provides optimal benefits. Working out increases circulation to the muscles and joints, so individuals are at their most flexible following exercise.
- Try Dynamic Stretching
The traditional stretch, a static stretch, involves extending the muscle to its greatest capacity and holding the pose for up to 30 seconds. The stretch should be released if pain occurs. Another effective stretching technique is the dynamic stretch, in which the muscle group is continuously stretched through its full range of motion with smooth, ongoing movements. For example, use the same moves that will be used during the planned workout, but at a lower intensity and slower speed.
- Consult a Trainer
Those who are new to working out should consider visiting a personal trainer. These experts will demonstrate how to stretch muscles safely and correctly to minimize the risk of pain and injury while exercising.
Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can provide treatment for many types of sports injuries. We offer physical therapy services to help improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion. With three convenient locations that offer same-day or next-day appointments, our patients experience efficient diagnoses to help them return to their normal lifestyle. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.