5 things you really need to know before stretching

5 things you really need to know before stretching

Stretching is a great practice if you want flexibility in your workout routine! It can increase your body joints to move better at some activities and there are many ways to start stretching: static stretch, PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), dynamic stretch and ballistic or bouncing stretch. Between those, the most popular ones are:

  • Static stretch - holding your stretch in a comfortable position for a while (10-30 seconds) after you exercise; and
  • Dynamic stretch - active movements that cause your muscles to stretch without holding them in one position before you exercise.

I guess you’ve noticed that it is, in fact, possible to stretch BEFORE or AFTER you exercise, right? Well, that’s exactly what I want to talk about today! The tips below are very useful if you’re just starting to stretch and can even avoid injuries! 

  1. Stretching isn’t warming up! A warm up is a light walk, jogging and even biking at low intensity (5-10 minutes). And stretching can be a good pilates or yoga class; 
  2. Don’t stretch first if you're going to do a hard workout routine. That’s because this practice will make your muscles “weaker” for the activity you want to do;
  3. You can stretch first, if your exercise of the day is dancing, gymnastics or even slow running. Doing that, you’ll get more flexibility to exercise the way you have to;
  4. Stretching after you exercise is a great way to go! It will relax your muscles and some studies have shown that it can even avoid injuries; and
  5. You don’t have to feel pain by stretching. There’s no space for tough love at this moment! You will feel discomfort, however, if it becomes painful, you should stop and start over.

All ready? Me too! Stay stretchy and good exercising.

Source: NHS UK

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