Monday, 5 October 2009

The Importance of Stretching

All too often people visit a gym, go hell for leather on the weights, then leave without the slightest form of stretching pre or post workout. There are so many reasons to train that it is surprising many people don’t bother, especially when they should know the importance of stretching.

Stretching prior to your workout

Stretching prior to your workout will warm up your muscles and joints, making them loose and warm so they are ready to undertake the extreme stress of lifting weights you are about to put them through.

By stretching before you workout you are preparing your body for the challenges ahead, this means that when you start that first set on the first exercise your muscles and joints won’t feel tight and you will be able to lift more comfortably.

It is a long held subject that stretching prior to workout will actually reduce the chance of injury but interestingly some medical authorities say that there is no evidence that this is correct. This does not mean that it’s fine to miss your pre workout stretch though as its not been medically confirmed either wat.

Stretching post workout

Stretching post workout is just as important as before your workout as it ensures your muscles don’t contract and become too tight, it also serves as a way of reducing DOM (delayed onset muscle soreness) you are likely to receive.

Other forms of stretching

It is most commonly thought that to get the most out of stretching to improve flexibility and overall performance in sports (including weightlifting) a person should carry out stretching exercises daily. By stretching daily you will maintain and improve the flexibility of your muscles and tendons giving you more support in your training regime.

Whether you like stretching or not there is a great importance of stretching before and after your workout so why not start supporting your body through stretching as well as weight lifting.