When you are focused on cardio and strength training, it’s easy to overlook an essential part of your workout: stretching. However, if stretching is low on your priority list, it might increase your risk of injury.
Implementing a regular stretching routine not only helps you avoid injury but also helps to improve range of motion, optimize athletic performance. When you stretch, it increases the blood flow in the muscles, which contributes to faster recovery times and improved mobility.
6 Tips for Stretching
Like planning your exercise routine, it’s essential to ensure that your stretching is effective and safe. You can stretch at any location and any time. But make sure you are using the right technique, so you aren’t causing more harm than good.
Here are a few tips to help with your stretching routine:
- Hold the Stretch: Lean into the stretch and find your “edge” – where you can feel the stretch without causing pain. Hold this position without bouncing. Smooth movements are essential to avoid injury.
- Balance On Both Sides: Just because you feel more soreness on one side of the body doesn’t mean that you can skip stretching on the other side of the body. Make sure you are symmetrical in your stretching patterns to maintain equal flexibility on both sides.
- Warm Up First: Instead of stretching at the beginning of your exercise session, take a few minutes to warm up the muscles. You can cause injury by stretching cold muscles, so walk, jog, or bike for a few minutes before you start stretching.
- Intense Activities: Did you know that stretching before an intense activity might negatively affect performance? Some researchers suggest that you shouldn’t stretch before sprinting because it could slow you down. Instead, wait until after the run to stretch and loosen the muscles.
- Maintain Consistency: The best way to get results is to maintain consistency with your stretching routine. Even though it can be time-consuming, it’s worth the effort to stretch after each workout or several times a week.
- Major Areas of the Body: Include all major muscle groups in your stretching routine, including the neck, shoulders, back, obliques, hips, thighs, and calves.
Personalized Fitness Recommendations
As you are upgrading your workout routine, it can be helpful to talk to a fitness expert. Join us at Club Evexia to find a personal trainer and meet other people who are working on their fitness. Call today to learn more about our quality fitness center and membership options: (415) 238-0029.