Previously, stretching was to exercise what proposing is to marriage: an important ritual that had to be done before the main event. Athletes of a particular age were warned to stretch their muscles before exerting themselves in order to avoid a debilitating pull or injury.
Recent studies caution individuals away from stretching before workouts, suggesting that it actually impedes your body’s performance. According to this type of research, runners run more slowly, jumpers jump less high and then weightlifters lift more weakly by stretching, without significantly ensuring against injury during their exercise.
Muscles Are Made Of Bundles Of Tiny Fibres
In a typical exercise-related muscle strain, these fibres develop microscopic tears. Hypothetically, stretching before exercise should make the muscles more pliable as well as less likely to tear. However, when studies have compared rates of injury or muscle soreness in individuals who stretch prior to exercise and those who don’t, they have found little advantage to stretching. Indeed, stretching a cold, tight muscle may lead to injury.
Rather, try a brief warm-up in order to get the blood flowing to your major muscle groups as well as loosen your joints. For instance, instead of launching immediately into a brisk walk, spend around five to 10 minutes taking a relaxing stroll with long strides, and then increase the pace slowly. Or when you start exercising on a treadmill or other gym machine, begin on a low setting. In addition, this will allow your heart and muscles to gradually respond to the increased demands of exercise.
What Do I Do Prior To Exercise If I Shouldn’t Stretch?
A dynamic warm-up! Whether this involves high knees, walking/light jog, lunges, or squats (among a number of different other choices), a dynamic warm-up will both warm as well as loosen your muscles, preparing them for exercise and lessening the risk of injury.
A dynamic warm-up is different as opposed to flexibility training. Flexibility training is accomplished by static stretching, which is maintaining a single stretch at the end range. As mentioned previously, since a dynamic warm-up focuses on warming up as well as loosening your muscles, the aim is not to stretch or stress the muscles into a novel range of motion. Make sure that you keep your dynamic warm-up pain-free, moderate-intensity as well as simple in order to avoid injury.
When You Stretch Ensure You’re Doing It Properly
Stretching should never hurt you so be sure to stop if you begin to feel pain as a result of stretching. Holding your stretches for between 10 and 30 seconds helps your muscles lengthen. Try not to bounce when you stretch, as this may damage your muscles.
Ensure that you keep breathing during your stretches. Proper breathing will ensure that your muscles get the oxygen they require during stretching. Always make sure that you stretch both sides of your body in equal fashions. It could be natural to focus on your dominant side, however you should focus on stretching all your muscles equally.
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