The Importance of Stretching Before You Work Out
Here’s what will happen if you stretch before a workout: Your muscles will get thoroughly exercised and will grow, leaving you stronger and healthier. And here’s what will happen if you skip your stretch and head straight into an intense workout: Your muscles may be damaged during your workout and you will be left IN PAIN!
• Unstretched muscles are tired and tight and won’t be able to work out as thoroughly as stretched muscles. You may not know that though and will push your muscles past their limit, causing injury to your fatigued muscles.
• Stretching warms up muscles making them more susceptible to the workout. Warmed up muscles receive the utmost benefit from a workout and will grow faster and more healthfully. That’s right—stretching before a workout will make you stronger.
• Muscles that are not stretched before a work out run the risk of being strained, pulled, or ripped. If this happens, you’ll need to take some time to recover (that means no working out for a few days or even a few weeks) and you’ll likely need an anti-inflammatory drug (like Celebrex, for example).
• A good pre-workout stretch (and post-workout, come to think of it) can help treat arthritis. Achy joints can find relief in a good stretch and can serve as a great pain management activity for arthritis sufferers and can prevent arthritis in people who are susceptible to joint pain.
Tips for a good stretch:
• Start your workout with a stretch routine and end your workout with a stretch routine. Try and target all muscle groups, major and minor, that will be/were used during your workout.
• Hold each stretch for a slow count of 10. Stretches done hastily are pretty much ineffective. Do them slowly and pay attention to the stretch.
• Breathe into each stretch to take it one step deeper. Exhale on the exertion.
• A little pain is okay and means that the stretch is working; a lot of pain means you’ve gone too far. Stop immediately and return to a light recovery stretch.