Nowadays everyone our health concern, everyone is trying to do exercise for a couple of days in a week either in a gym or in-home. Sometimes it happens that without knowing anything we start the work out vigorously. This random exercise not only harms your body, but affects negatively the muscle, bones, and surrounding structures. So, it is important to do the stretches before workout.
If you are doing proper stretches before the workout schedule it will help your body in a different way.
The first proper warm-up of the body can happen. Muscle will be more active and flexible. They can take the load up the workout. And at the same point in time, proper circulation of our body can happen property.
Importance of Stretches Before Workout
Everyone’s busy in their own lives and altering schedules. Therefore, we often find it challenging to set time to exercise. Although gyms & centers boast an excellent range of equipment, sometimes we prefer to work out at home and enjoy a race or a brisk walk.
Whatever way you choose to work up that sweat, it’s always essential to remember to STRETCH! In short, make the word “stretch” your life’s new mantra. So, today we’ll talk about how stretching before/after any workout is crucial and a few other things related to it.
What is Stretching?
Stretching: A form of physical exercise in which a specific tendon or muscle gets stretched or flexed deliberately. It helps in improving flexibility, muscle control, and range of motion. It’s also an act of releasing tension (certainly that your workload gives you) from the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Importance of Stretching
Stretching keeps the muscles strong, healthy, flexible. We need that flexibility to sustain a range of motion in our joints. Without stretching, the muscles compress and become tight. Later, when you depend on the muscles for any activity, they are weak and unable to elongate all the way. That gives rise to risks such as strains, muscle damage, & joint pain.
For example- when tight muscles suddenly get a call for an arduous activity that’ll stretch them, such as playing football, they may become damaged from sudden stretching. Injured muscles may not be vigorous enough to hold the joints, which can lead to joint injury.
Picture this- you’re sitting on a bench for an extended period. That’ll result in cramped hamstrings in the thigh’s back. That can make it more challenging for you to straighten your knee or extend your leg all the way, which forbids walking.
Daily stretching a muscle keeps it long and lean and “won’t put extravagant force on the muscle itself,” verbally expresses Nolan. Active muscles additionally avail a person with balance problems to evade falls. In that way, you’ll save yourself from several awkward encounters.
See also: 13 Easy Exercise for Seniors to Improve Balance and Strength: Senior Workout at Home
Why is it necessary to do stretching before exercise?
It is very much necessary to do Stretches Before Workout because –
- Slow sustain stretching makes the body feel relaxed by reducing muscle tension.
- Stretches before workout help in coordinating by allowing more comfortable and free movement.
- It prevents injuries like muscle strains.
- Increases range of motion.
Stretching avails to prepare your body for the exercise it’s about to have. It’s a method of signalling the muscles that they are about to be utilized.
- It helps in avoiding sore, tired, and stiff muscles.
- Increases flexibility.
- It bolsters circulation.
Effect of Stretching
1. Reduces the Risk of Injury
A flexible muscle is less liable to become damaged if you have to make an immediate move. By ascertaining the range of motion in a specific joint through stretching, you can reduce your body’s muscle resistance during sundry activities.
2. Increases Range of Motion
Being capable of moving a joint through its entire range of motion gives you ultimate freedom of movement and joy too. Regular stretching can help you in increasing your range of motion.
3. Enhances Posture
Stretching the muscles of shoulders, chest & lower back helps maintain your back’s alignment and improves posture. Also, who doesn’t desire an impeccable posture, eh?
4. It gives Relief from Pains and Aches
After a strenuous workout, stretching your muscles helps keep them relaxed. It also diminishes the tightening effect that can lead to post-workout pains and aches. This way, all that sweat won’t go in vain, or we must say pain!
5. Enhances Muscular Relaxation
Chronically tense muscles incline to cut off their circulation, resulting in a lack of essential nutrients and oxygen. But, stretching enables your muscles to avoid such.
6. Helps Manage or Reduce Tension
Completely stretched muscles hold less stress and, therefore, can make you feel less tense and normalizes your heart rate. As they say, less pressure is equal to refreshed mind-set.
7. Warms-Up The Body
Stretching before exercise sanctions your muscles to loosen up and become better. This allows them to withstand the impact of the training you opt to do.
8. Reduce the Risk of Low-Back Ache
Tight muscles can decrease your range of motion. When this happens, the chances of you straining your back-muscles increases. Stretching can help heal a back injury by stretching the muscles. A regular stretching routine can also prevent future risk for an injury like a muscle strain.
9. Boosts Circulation
Stretching results in increased blood supply to joints and muscles, enabling more significant nutrient transportation. It improves blood circulation through your entire body.
10. Calms Your Mind
While you stretch, focus on meditation and mindfulness exercises. It’ll give your brain a mental break from all the unnecessary fuss.
How Long Is It Required to Do Stretch?
Active or dynamic stretching demands movement to lengthen muscles so that your blood keeps flowing. Static stretching holds a fixed period which can range from 15 seconds to 30 seconds. A minimum of 20-second holding is required for firing the Golgi tendon organ (GTO). So that the stretch reflex can work properly for a muscle. This inverse myotatic reflex is very much to function a muscle properly and achieve a full range of motion.
What if you go for a stretch and feel that you want to release from the position immediately? It may be a clue that it’s time to stretch that area more. It’s much better to ease your way into it.
Types of Stretching
Here we’ve mentioned five types of stretches:
a) Static Stretching
It’s a stretching exercise that involves expanding muscle with low force and long duration (generally 30 seconds). Static stretching has an elongation & relaxation effect on muscle and advancing a range of motion.
It also minimizes the chance of acute muscle strain injuries. It is a simple, controlled movement that prioritizes postural awareness and body alignment. Everyone can do this type of stretching.
b) Dynamic Stretching
Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching involves continuous exercise patterns that resemble the sport or activity one will perform. Ordinarily speaking, dynamic stretching aims to enhance flexibility for the required activity or sport.
Consider the example of a sprinter. Before the race, a sprinter does long & exaggerated strides to prepare himself/herself for that race.
c) Ballistic stretching
Ballistic stretching is used commonly for athletic drills. It needs frequent bouncing movement to stretch the selected muscle group, just like when you bounce down repeatedly to touch your feet.
Everything will be fine if these exercises are performed safely from low to high velocity, preceded by static stretching. But if not, these bouncing movements will trigger the stretch reflex and might cause serious injury.
d) Active Isolated Stretching
This technique of stretching is to hold for approximately two seconds at a time. An individual continuously performs this exercise for several repetitions. Also, each time exceeds the initial point of resistance by a few degrees.
Athletes perform AIS for various sets with a certain number of repetitions. It’s similar to a strength-training regimen.
e) Myofascial Release
The myofascial release improves flexibility & relieves tension in the fascia and underlying muscle. This stretching requires the utilization of equipment like a foam roller. A person executes by undergoing Small, repeated back-and-forth movements for 30 to 60 seconds over an area of 2 to 6 inches. The person’s pain tolerance will decide the amount of pressure put in the target area.
f) PNF Stretching
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretching- An advanced form of flexibility training. It requires the stretching and contraction of muscles. Let’s take a peep at its techniques.
PNF stretching consists of three types-
- Hold-relax with agonist contraction
Which Muscle Group to Stretch?
It’ll be a wise option to think about which muscle groups you’ll target in your workout. Here’s a few of them which you can target in a complete body stretch routine.
The Lower Body– Hip flexors, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves, Quadriceps, Abductors, Adductors.
The Upper Body- Neck, Shoulders, Abdominals, Arms, Chest, Upper/Mid/Lower Back.
Why Does a Tight Muscle Need to Stretch?
Stiffness of muscles occurs when your muscles feel tight and you’re finding difficulty moving. It happens mostly after rest. One may also face cramping, muscle pains, and discomfort. Therefore, to dodge that discomfort without any extra hassle, stretching tight muscles are required.
It is always a wise thing to do stretching on a regular basis, but keep in mind mostly to try to focus on the tight muscle or muscle group.