It’s the one thing we should all do before and after exercise but the one phase everyone tends to skip… I think maybe because it’s boring, we are always pushed for time and it’s not perceived as being that important.

Stretching is so important at the start of a work out, as it gives your muscles the opportunity to warm up and become more elastic, which means you will be able to perform better when you start your main set or workout.

Stretching will help prevent injury as cold muscles are more likely to be torn or strained. It is always best to start your work out with 5 minutes of cardio of your choice then dynamic stretching – stretching while moving as it will help increase blood flow and muscle temperature.

At the end of the workout your muscles will be warm and maybe sore depending on what you have been doing.

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There are many reasons why you should stretch after exercising:

  • It will help maintain elasticity within the muscles, improve strength and keep them healthy. This is so important to keep the flexibility up as it will help in turn with joint movement which will have an impact on your overall performance of working out and everyday life activities.
  • When your muscles are warm and you hold a stretch for longer, 45 seconds it will improve the elasticity of that muscle making you more flexible.
  • Decrease the risk of injury
  • Enable your muscles to work more effectively
  • Help keep a healthy body and mind. Stretching can also be really relaxing and help your mind switch off, decreasing stress.
  • It helps relieve the stress on muscles after a hard work out, your muscles can often get tight and stiff, stretching will slow down the process of aches and pains.
  • It can help improve your posture, stretching your lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your body in better alignment.
  • Reduces lower back, better flexibility in your hamstrings, hip flexors and other muscles around your pelvis helps relieve stress on the lower lumber. This is especially good for those who have desk jobs.

pippaHappy Stretching!

Pippa
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Blog Post by Pippa
FCO Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

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