When it comes to stretching the body before and after exercise, we tend to try and skip this important part of our exercise routine, however stretching has benefits such as :
- improving flexibility meaning that you are likely to perform better in your routine
- improves posture and technique as muscles and joints are loosened
- improves the range of motion in your joints, improving your flexibility and balance
- prevents injury and recovery is improved as the muscles and joints are conditioned and the list goes on……..
They are different types of stretches to combine in your routine such as:
- involves holding one position, these stretches are best performed after a workout/ exercise as they can reduce the ability of muscles to generate force which can reduce performance and increase injury, however not relevant for everyone.
- can be performed for 10-15 seconds as a maintenance stretch to reduce tension after exercise and return muscle to pre- exercise state and maintain flexibility.
- or performed for 30 seconds as a developmental stretch to increase the flexibility of muscles that have become tight and short over time.
- involves controlled movement. this type of stretch involves taking a joint through a range of movement, stretching the surrounding muscles and joints in the process.
- It is not the same as ballistic (explosive, fast) stretching which is not recommended for most of us due to increased risk of injury.
- best for warm up stretches as it increases the flexibility of joints and muscles.
link below to help you identify which muscles you are stretching :