As you get ready to hit the gym for a good workout, there’s one final thing to do before you begin: stretch.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably already well versed in the basic stretches you should do before hitting the gym. You may even already be familiar with some of the more advanced stretches. However, there’s one final stretch that’s so important you should know about before hitting the gym.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about stretching before you start your workout.
Benefits of Stretching
Stretching is very important for your overall health. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you get in the habit of stretching before every workout.
Strengthens and Improves Flexibility
Stretching improves your flexibility by allowing your muscles to lengthen and relax. This is important because, as your muscles shorten, they’re less likely to help you perform your best. If you’re not flexible, you’re also less likely to be able to move properly.
For some people, stretching also helps to relieve tension in your muscles and joints.
Improves Your Body’s Ability to Recover
If you’re a regular exerciser, you’ll know that your body starts to stiffen up after a long period of sitting or standing. This stiffening can be especially bad if you don’t stretch regularly. Stretching helps to loosen the muscles, so you can avoid that stiffening. Stretching also helps to improve blood flow, which means you’ll recover faster.
Enhances Athletic Performance
Stretching is also important for athletic performance. For example, stretching can help you to maintain a proper muscle balance. Muscle imbalances can cause problems for athletes, so stretching is often recommended. Stretching can also help you to relax and loosen up before and during exercise.
Helps You to Avoid Injury
Finally, stretching can help to prevent injury. This is especially important if you have a high risk of injury, such as if you play a sport that involves a lot of repeated motion. If you’re injured, it’s important to stretch your muscles as soon as you feel something is wrong. Stretching your muscles and tissues helps to reduce the risk of injury.
There are various techniques you can use to stretch your muscles and tissues. Some of these are easier to do than others. The best way to find out which is right for you is to experiment with different techniques. You’ll soon discover which works best for you.