Top 5 Stretching Mistakes
Stretching is like oil changes for your car – little inconveniences that can make a big difference, guarding against breakdowns and helping things run optimally.
Mistake #2: Dynamic Neglect
Explanation: Although you should not do static stretching pre-workout, that does not mean you should not static stretch. Dynamic stretching involves fast, ballistic movements such as arm circles for shoulders and kicks for the legs, and it can increase muscle power when done before hitting the weights. Unfortunately, most fear that twirling your arms or kicking your legs will make you look silly. Get over it. Being able to handle more iron after stretching is definitely hardcore.
- Do dynamic stretches pre-workout that are appropriate for the exercise you have planned. For example, do chest dynamic stretches (stand with your arms straight in front of you and pull them back and then forward again 10 times rapidly) before working pecs.
- Dynamic stretches immediately before a set can also boost power. For example, do a few (bodyweight) jump squats just before ducking under the bar for a set of squats.
- Ballistic stretching is a close relative of dynamic stretching. It involves doing static stretches repeatedly in a sequence with a bouncing motion. For example, between sets of leg curls, you can elongate your hamstrings by doing a series of quick toe touches. Use caution with ballistic stretches to avoid going beyond your safe range of motion.