Here are my 5 reasons you need to stretch before your next workout.
I know your situation is unique but in general, you should do some stretching to help warm up and facilitate muscle action before you get moving.
Mainly it’s because our days are full of long periods of sitting or standing.
Staying in these positions day after day can lead to a host of compensation patterns.
Most obvious are the tight muscles created from shortened ranges and limited use.
Stretching can help your muscles prepare for the workout ahead.
REASONS TO STRETCH BEFORE YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Muscles Need Functional Range of Motion:
If you look at muscle function from a performance standpoint, a full functional range of motion is required for muscles to work properly.
Limited range of motion not only interferes with your muscle’s ability to move into end ranges but also disrupts the elastic properties of the tissues.
As an example, when you’re throwing a ball you have to wind up and stretch the chest and shoulder muscles before you can whip it forward and throw.
Limited range can also lead to an increased chance of injury.
If you sit for long periods, your hamstrings get very tight.
This limits the range in your hips and knees.
You are forcing your body to compensate by finding range elsewhere like your spine.
This leads to injury and pain in your back.
Muscles Need Good Mapping:
Mapping may be a new concept but it’s basically how the brain knows what, when, where, and how you’re moving your body.
It’s like having Google Maps but for your body.
The more information your muscles and joints feed back to the brain the more comfortable it feels when it comes to moving.
Fortunately, we can quickly map the body as part of your warm-up and stretching program.
Your Body Needs Time To Transition:
You know those sitting and standing positions we talked about earlier?
Well, your body needs time to transition from that type of activity to one where you moving and demanding more from your body.
Stretching provides time to go from all the worries of work, and getting focused now on moving the body correctly.
So these are a few good reasons why you should stretch before activity.
But what about the arguments for not stretching before?
Stretching provides the time and opportunity to connect with the muscles you’re focusing on.
This increases your awareness about how your muscles are feeling.
Are they tight?
Do they not want to move in certain ranges?
Do they hurt when moved in certain ways?
Stretching, especially dynamic flexibility, can improve coordination by ramping up the nerve impulses to the working muscles.
This allows your body to have better control of its complex movements.
Improving both performance and injury prevention.
Plus when done correctly you’re warming up the exact movement patterns you’ll be using during your workout.
WRAPPING IT UP
So these are the reasons you should stretch before working.
Hopefully, it will give you a couple of reasons to stir stretching before.
Now sure about your specific situation?
Don’t worry, I have you covered.
I’ll be writing a post on some of the arguments against stretching. You can read about it here.
I’ll also have a post on what I personally do and what I do when working with my clients.
Until next time, Keep on moving!
Move Well, Live Better