Stretching Tips – Rules of Fitness #4
Stretching Exercises and Tips
Now that you’re all warmed up and loose, it’s time to do some stretching! This important step is often overlooked, even by professional athletes, and it’s to their own detriment. After all, stretching helps prevent injury, reduces fatigue, and helps with recovery. If you’re going to make a commitment to an exercise regimen, why wouldn’t you do everything you can to make it efficient?
Stretch Your Routine
The two most common forms of stretches are static and dynamic:
- Static stretches, like a hamstring stretch runners perform, are held for between 30 – 60 seconds.
- Dynamic stretches, such as simple leg swings, are based on movement, focusing on the continued warm-up of your muscles.
Stretch Your Time
Lately, fitness researchers have been at odds about stretching. Some scientists believe that stretching is completely unnecessary. Others insist that stretching is an integral part of any fitness program. As is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Dynamic stretches will do you the most good before your workout. They increase the core temperature of your muscles while keeping the rest of your body in continuous motion. These movements also increase the range of motion in your joints, making them more flexible. That alone can help reduce the risk of injury.
That doesn’t mean you should stop static stretches completely. They help your body ease down after exertion, and give your brain a chance to switch modes so you can relax. Because of their calming effect, static stretches are best performed after your workout or in the evening.
Stretch Your Boundaries
Stretching does a world of good for your body. It improves your circulation, enhances your posture, and increases your stamina. It even reduces soreness levels while improving your athletic performance.
There’s no reason not to incorporate stretching into your exercise regimen!