The debate of whether stretching offers any health benefits has been around for some time now. Some people say stretching doesn’t add any value to their workout routine, while for others it is part and parcel of their daily workout schedule.
However, researchers have taken up the task and done studies on whether stretching is significant. First off, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of stretching.
In most instances, people include a few stretching routines as part of their warm-up session. Studies show that performing static stretching exercises does affect the ability of your muscles to work productively during intense workouts.
Generally, stretching routines involve trying to lengthen your muscle tissue. Doing this before giving your muscles a chance to warm up can cause injury or curtail your performance during your workout.
Another finding from medical and sports researchers shows that stretching before your workout has no significant effect on your performance.
Cool Down Session
After you’re done with your workout, it’s essential that you take part in a cool down session – otherwise known as a post-workout session.This triggers active recovery where your body will continue burning calories throughout the day.
A stretching routine during your post-workout session offers many significant advantages. First and foremost, it helps speed up your recovery, prepping you for the next day’s training. Also, it helps prevent muscle injuries such as cramps and muscle soreness.
What You Should Do During a Warm Up
Avoid performing static stretching exercises before working out. Go for compound bodyweight drills. This will help stimulate your muscle tissue and take your joints through a complete range of motion in preparation for your sweat session.
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Here are examples of stretching routines you can do during your post-workout session or your rest days.
The Low Lunge
For this move, get down on the floor into a plank position, ensuring you keep a straight back, and your arms are some distance apart for improved stability. Now, step as far as you can with your left leg, and your knee is close to your elbow.
Maintain the position for half a minute before switching to the other leg.
The Hamstring Stretch
This targets your hamstrings and glutes.
Stand up straight with your feet close together. Extend one foot backward, while maintaining a straight back until you feel slight tension in your hamstring. Hold for some time and then repeat with the other leg.
If you’re comfortable, you can place your hands on your waist to help work on your stability.
This is a familiar stretching routine to help stretch your arms and legs.
Stand upright with your legs some distance apart for better stability. Bend forward and try touching your toes with your hands. Hold them for a close to half a minute before releasing. You’ll probably experience some tension in your hamstrings and biceps.