When you think of a workout routine, you probably visualize a strenuous workout full of heart-pumping cardio, huge weight sets, and lots of reps. Stretching should also be an important part of any exercise routine, but is something most people ignore. When you stretch dynamically before a workout, you will have fewer muscle cramps during activity, and doing static stretching afterward is perfect for helping to heal and repair muscles you just used. However, if you overextend your muscles, you will have to deal with painful muscle strains. A strain occurs when stiff muscles are pulled or twisted. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent strains and muscle cramps. All athletes should practice static stretching properly to avoid this, and here are some tips to get the most out of your stretching.
Increase Your Range
Static stretching can improve your flexibility and increase your range of motion. Stretching can increase the flexibility in your hips, shoulders, ankles, and any part of the body you focus on really. You can move more efficiently when your muscles are flexible as well.
Stretch Your Muscles and Relieve Stress
Static stretching can help to relax your muscles and your mental state as well. While stretching, take deep breaths and hold the position for as long as possible. Stress can cause muscle cramps, so make sure you aren’t clenching muscle groups as you hold a stretch. Static stretching can relieve stress and alleviate muscle cramps when done right.
Balance Your Posture
A muscular imbalance can lead to stiffness and poor posture and stiff muscles can lead to serious injuries. Runners need to have flexible leg muscles. If your muscular system is imbalanced, you will overextend certain muscles and you will also have a reduced range of motion. If you run on a regular basis, you might have tight hip flexors. Use your time after working out, when your muscles are warm, to pull and stretch muscles that are being used regularly. Be sure to balance out and work opposite muscles as well.
Effective Static Stretching
You should never stretch cold muscles. According to personal injury FAQs lawyers often get, if a trainer is telling you to stretch before a workout, they probably mean dynamic stretching which both warms the body and prepares muscles, rather than deep stretching them. Before you stretch, perform a quick workout. Reach slightly beyond your average range of motion. You might feel tension, but you should not feel pain. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds while you take deep breaths. Stretch all your major muscle groups, and repeat each stretch several times. You should spend extra time on tense muscles. For example, you should focus on your legs if you are a professional runner.
A sports injury like poor stretching strains can have long-term side effects, and you might have to make drastic lifestyle changes after one occurs. Be sure that whatever workout you do, you are properly doing static stretching afterward to repair muscles and feel better.