We’ve often been told to begin our workout with stretches but do we know if we need them at all? Why, yes! Stretching imparts flexibility which helps you zip through your training sessions. But stretching has a lot to offer and not just when it comes to exercise. Stretching can have wonderful calming effects – it energizes and relaxes. Here’s your ultimate guide to stretching.
Before or after the workout?
We’d say both. It’s good to stretch before your workout as it allows your body to warm up. It encourages blood flow to your muscles along with extra oxygen and nutrients required to pull through the workout. It prepares your body for the stress ahead.
“Before the workout we focus on dynamic stretching where one does not hold the stretch but rather maintains movement. The purpose of this is to warm up the muscles and connective tissues to prepare for the workout ahead,” says Uday Raj Anand, Founder Crush Fitness India.
It is also equally important to stretch after the workout. Stretching helps in recovery as during the workout your muscles release some toxins which move into the blood stream and can be eradicated if your stretch after your workout. Uday shares, “After the workout, we focus on static stretching wherein the muscle is stretched to its maximum range and held in that position for 10-30 seconds depending on the stretch and the level of advancement of the person.”