“Luke S. Mitchell is an MS Undergraduate in Sports Journalism shared that before training, it’s incredibly important to properly stretch your joints. There are countless benefits that come with flexibility training, including to reduce pain and stiffness, reduce the risk of injury, lower stress levels, improve bodily functions, and improve range of motion.
Some of the stretches you should consider doing includes dynamic and neck/back stretching.
Here’s what you need to know about stretching before working out your body and just how important it is.
1. Reduce Pain and Stiffness
Muscular tension can cause several problems and common discomfort to your body if you don’t stretch before working out. Recent studies have shown that stretching can help reduce stiffness and pain levels in your back and neck. Flexibility training can even lower the risk of developing muscle cramps as well. Stretching can also minimize wear on your joints while you are working out too.
As muscles tense and tighten, other muscle groups become weakened, which can cause wear and tear on different joints. However, regularly stretching before working out or training can help protect muscle groups from becoming sore or stiff and help prevent damage to your joints. If you have pre-existing joint problems, stretching prior to a workout is even more essential. But remember, stretching after your workout is just as important as stretching before.
2. Reduces Risk of Injury
Although there still isn’t enough evidence to completely determine whether or not stretching can reduce injury, studies have shown that stretching can help prevent some injury while working out. Dynamic stretches warm up your body and prepare your joints for movements. Because of this, stretching can help prevent injuries and cold muscles throughout your body that could potentially cause sprains and strains.
By regularly stretching before working out and performing static stretching, yoga, or PNF stretching, you can help regulate your heart rate and get your body ready for your workout. In doing so, you can improve your overall health while preventing injury as well. Your whole body will benefit from just a few simple stretches before training. In addition to reducing the risk of injury, stretching before working out can also help lower your stress levels too.
3. Lower Stress Levels
Stretching regularly can even lower your anxiety levels. Chronic stress can take a toll on your body and cause mental tension, anxiety, and fatigue. If you are usually stressed or anxious, your athletic performance will suffer, and your body will not function to its highest capability. Incorporating flexibility training prior to your workout can make a huge difference in your stress.
By regularly stretching, you can lower stress levels in your body and reduce your risk of developing depression and anxiety. In fact, research studies have found proof that stretching can reduce mental tension. When you combine flexibility training with breathing exercises, as you would during yoga, you can decrease your anxiety levels even more.
4. Improved Performance and Range of Motion
Stretching before working out can improve your physical performance overall. When it is included as a regular part of your exercise routine, stretching can help to improve speed, power, agility, and muscle strength. You will see a noticeable difference in your athletic performance once you begin adding flexibility training into your everyday routine.
Stretching can also improve your overall range of motion. It will assist in enhancing unrestricted motion in the major joints of the body like the shoulders and hips. Be sure that you are doing the right kinds of exercises to improve motion in these key areas. Hip flexor stretches, and shoulder stretches are crucial to boosting performance and range of motion. Not only can stretching improve range of motion, but it can also improve bodily function as well.
5. Better Body Function
Everyday life causes the muscles in our bodies to become tense and contracted. This is caused by poor posture, sitting for long periods of time, incorrect body mechanics, and repetitive movements. Gradually, the tight muscles become less supple and weaker. These harmful effects can be combated with regular stretching before you exercise.
Flexibility training helps to improve your overall body function. These techniques help to train the body to respond more effectively to the above-mentioned stressors. Stretching regularly can decrease tension and help your muscles to work better, no matter what kind of stress they have been under. It’s important that you stretch your body before embarking on a heavy training session. By training, before you work out, you can improve bodily functions, improve range of motion, reduce the risk of injury, lower stress levels, and reduce pain and stiffness. Although it might not seem essential to stretch before working out, it’s more important than you think!