Should You Stretch Before or After a Workout?

stretching before workout

Static and Dynamic Stretching

 

Should you stretch before or after a workout? The answer is both. Muscle injury is one of the major problems today’s athletes endure representing at least 30% of the injuries seen in sports medicine clinics, and lack of doing proper stretching can lead to these types of injuries. However, many research studies have shown that certain types of stretching can enhance your workout or performance, while others do not and can actually reduce your athletic capabilities.

 

Stretching before a workout is crucial for preventing injury as well as improving performance. Especially if you exercise right after waking up or if you’re pretty sedentary during the day, your muscles are going to be tight, says Noam Tamir, certified trainer and founder of TS Fitness.

 

So what kind of moves are we talking about?

“It’s best to do a dynamic warm-up before exercise,” Tamir says. As opposed to static stretches, which are held for 30 seconds or more in the same position. This type of stretching involves active movements that mimic your actual workout.

These dynamic stretches below are perfect before your workout.

During dynamic stretching, you’re constantly moving, so it provides a cardio warm-up as well, explains Julie Mulcahy, M.P.T., a sports medicine physical therapist. Other research suggests that dynamic stretching enhances muscle performance and power output compared to static stretching.

So, what about after your workout?

Do static stretches. These stretches focus more on relaxing the muscle and promoting flexibility than dynamic stretching, and can be good to add to the end of your gym session. These stretches are typically held for at least 30 seconds. So after your workout, take a few minutes to rid the lactic acid and stretch.

Static post workout stretches.

 

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Here’s the bottom line…. stretching consistently is the best way to get its benefits. These can make or break your fitness goals. 

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