Stretch It Out
Most people exercise primarily to gain muscle and lose fat. Adding flexibility is usually an afterthought. However, stretching should be an integral part of every training routine. Depending on genetics, age, gender, body shape and level of physical activity, some people are naturally more flexible than others, but everyone can benefit from adding a stretch program to their regimen.
- Improves posture
- Adds more freedom of movement
- Adds greater mental and physical relaxation
- Decreased muscle tension and soreness
- Reduces the rick of injury
I don’t stretch at the beginning of my workout. Instead, I do 5-10 minutes of low-intensity cardio to warm up my muscles before doing any flexibility training.
I perform static stretches at the end of my workout. I hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat each stretch 305 times. I also make sure I take deep breaths and exhale slowly.
- If you can’t fit in a short pre-stretch cardio warm up, you can stretch after a warm shower or soak in a tub. Heated water increases the temperature of your muscles enough to make them responsive to stretches.