Training Myths: I Only Need to Static Stretch before Exercise
Let’s start this myth busting with a quick break down of stretching types. Static stretches are done by holding one movement through which a muscle is pushed to tension for a certain period of time. Dynamic stretches involve movements that are designed to stretch the muscles as well as increase synovial fluid in the joints. Now we can begin talking about when and why we will do these two types of stretches! Before beginning an exercise session it is very important to properly warm-up. A warm-up allows the muscles to get increased blood flow and the synovial fluid that keeps our joints moving like a well-oiled machine increases. An essential part of a good warm-up is a dynamic stretch! Dynamic stretching is better for you before exercise because it helps increase the range of motion for the muscle groups as well as the joints. Dynamic stretches allow the body to ease into exercise through movement which helps prevent injury to the muscles and ligaments. When our muscles are warm they are less likely to tear and will perform better! All personal training sessions, athlete performance training sessions and group fitness classes begin with a dynamic warm-up to encourage safe and effective exercise. Now let’s not forget about static stretches, they have a time and a place too….just not before a workout! Static stretches are best to be performed at the end of a workout. Cooling the muscles down with a static stretch can help reduce soreness. Static stretches should be held anywhere from ten seconds to one minute and should be performed to a point of tension, never pain. Static stretches at the end of a workout allow the warm muscle to cool down and continue lactic acid removal which will in turn reduce muscle soreness. Starting off the exercise session with a dynamic stretch is going to get your muscles warmed up and ready to rock! Ending the exercise session with a static stretch is going to help those tired muscles recover better helping you get stronger, FASTER! We are all about giving you the best and most effective workouts which is why we encourage these practices. Always remember to start and finish your workouts strong with these types of stretches so that you can perform and feel your best. Creating a strong and efficient body requires a multitude of things working well together and all components are important!