Have you ever thought about your daily stretching routine?
We look forward to a few things in the morning. Breakfast perhaps. The start of a new day. Usually, the morning stretch is one of those quick wins to start our day off right. That morning stretch feels the absolute best. When 5 pm hits for your gym appointment the same enthusiasm for stretching is nowhere to be found.
It’s one of those activities that become mundane and routine at times, but necessary. The risk of injury is higher when you don’t stretch pre or post-workout. What sucks, even more, is working your butt off for several hours in the gym all for it to go to waste because you didn’t take the extra few minutes to stretch.
We can’t let you go out like that. Before you go off to the gym today check out what we found out about stretching.
A lot of us are still doing (or half-heartedly) doing the same stretches that we learned in grammar school. It might involve a simple toe touch, light arm swing or two, topped off with a few calf stretches. First, there are several different types of stretching.
Types of Stretches
Daily Static Stretching Routine
Static Stretching is when you hold in a position. When you touch your toes and pause for several seconds that’s a static stretch. A lot of people do these exercises before working out as part of their routine.
Research from the Medicine and Science Journal in Sports and Exercise that this type of stretching didn’t decrease performance, but it’s best to hold off until after exercising unless you’re super stiff in an area. After your workout holds each stretch for 25-30 seconds and release gradually.
Daily Dynamic Stretching Routine
Dynamic Stretching is when you move quickly through positions while stretching. These are the best type of stretches to do before you workout because it helps to improve your heart heat, body temperature and loosens up your muscles nicely before engaging in a workout.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF stretches will vary, but usually, this involves stretching while contracting and relaxing your muscles. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is one of the best forms of stretching to increase the range of motion.
Ballistic or Bouncing Stretches
This type of stretching involves bouncing and jerking motions. This stretch is designed to increase one’s range of motion.
Things to Remember:
Stretching is something that should be a part of your daily routine.
We are active 24/7. Our muscles are being used even when we’re not engaging in activity that doesn’t exert much energy.
Sitting, routine walks to the other room, and other like activity stretch muscles we overlook. A simple routine of static and dynamic stretches every day help to reset your muscles back to square one.
You don’t have to stretch all of your muscles.
Direct your attention to the arms that are tighter or areas that affect you normally. Your body goes through regular wear and tear even in stationary positions such as sitting.
Jobs, where you sit all day, create a host of back and knee problems. Think about the areas that affect you the most even when not working out. Stretch those areas daily.
You don’t have to hold a stretch for an abnormal amount of time until the pain is reached.
The goal of a stretch is to open up those muscles and get the blood flowing in the necessary areas. Stretch your muscles to a point of stress without unnecessary pain. Listen to your body. If it says it’s too much, it’s too much.