Should You Stretch Before or After A Workout? The Fact
A consistent and hard workout is challenging enough, which sometimes causes muscle tears and soreness and may lead to a different kind of injury. But what can make it easier? Is it stretching?
Most people say stretching is vitally important before a workout to reduce the chances of injuries. On the other hand, other people opposed the idea, saying that it is a bunk and a waste of time and effort.
Well, ‘should you stretch before or after a workout’ is always debated. Considering it a matter of concern, we decided to discuss some elements on which we can proclaim whether stretching is better before or after a workout.
What is stretching?
When it comes to stretching, most people relate it to spreading legs and arms in the park; however, it is not as simple as it sounds. Straightforwardly, it is more than just swinging the legs and arms on the park bench.
Stretching releases tension from the muscles, joints and ligaments. Some level of stretching regularly is good for everybody. There are different methods and techniques that can help you get the most out of stretching and minimise the risk of injury. Moreover, the correct way and timing of stretching are also important.
We found people searching for the best time for stretching. Is it morning, evening, before the workout or after the workout? If you are in the same boat and confused about ‘Should you stretch before or after a workout’, we got you covered.
But first, understand what stretching does to your body.
How does stretching work?
In general, stretching is a great practice. Whether you do a regular workout or not, stretching can keep you healthy. It keeps your muscles flexible and increases their strength. But as we mentioned above, it has several types; dynamic stretching, passive stretching, static stretching, ballistic stretching and many more. Every stretching involves a different pose, and it results differently.
To reap the benefit, find the answer to ‘should you stretch before or after a workout’?
Stretching: Before or after a workout?
Talking about the fact stretching is necessary, but is it before or after the workout? Let’s clear the doubts.
Stretching is required before a workout but not static, especially when you perform a lower body workout. Performing static stretching on the cold muscles can cause muscle injury. Moreover, a study found that static stretching before working out anything may decrease strength, power and explosive performance.
What you can do is do an active warmup, such as jump jacks or brisk walk, for 10-15 minutes before an intense workout. This easy exercise will warm your muscles and get your heart pumping, making you ready for an intense workout. Or you can perform dynamic stretching, which improves the range of motion and decreases the chance of injury by preparing your muscles for the exercise. Dynamic stretching may include leg swings and walking lungs.
So ‘should you stretch before or after a workout’ is clear to an extent.
After a workout, stretching can repair your muscle and the muscle’s soreness; therefore, post-workout stretching is important, but only the selected ones since not all stretching exercises are created equally. Static stretching post-workout prepares you for the next session.
So the answer to your question, ‘should you stretch before or after a workout’ has got a conclusion – stretching after the workout is more beneficial if you choose the right stretching exercise.
Suggested Read: What to drink before and after a workout?
Can you stretch anytime?
Yes, a little stretch of the body is required to relax the muscles and relieve fatigue. You can stretch in the morning, evening, and during the breaks. It increases flexibility in the muscles and charges you for the day. But ensure intense stitching is done mindfully, on proper and adequate time. Also, choosing the type of stretching exercise is also necessary to keep in mind.
Types of stretching
Stretching is a type of medicine that increases the blood flow to the muscles, improves the range of motion and helps in preventing injury. Here are the major types of stretching that you can perform before or after a workout.
- Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching does not search muscles to the fullest, and it focuses on activating them instead. It is more common among athletes and would be doing an arm circle before lifting the heavy weight.
- Static Stretching
This stretching increases the blood flow in the muscles and usually refers to doing after a workout. It can be done in different ways; one example is holding a forward fold position.
- Ballistic Stretching
Ballistic stretching is done by bouncing forward in the seated position to touch your toes. It is done to extend the muscles and tendons through a large range of movement.
- Passive Stretching
Passive stretching is the easiest one on the list; you do not need to do anything but just stand in a relaxed position, and your coach will do everything for you.
- Proactive Neuromuscular Facilitation or PNF stretching
This type of stretching is used to maximise the range of motion and is done by passively holding the backstretch.
How to stretch properly?
When stretching, it is important how you do that because the wrong posture or method can lead to new injuries instead of repairing the old ones. Here is how to stretch properly.
- Warm up before stretching
It is important to warm up before stretching to warm your muscles and prevent tearing.
- Stretch regularly
You must stretch regularly, even for a few minutes, to see long-lasting results.
- Consult with professional
When it comes to stretching, make sure you are doing it correctly; therefore, consulting a professional is necessary.
Most topics of stretching have been covered in this blog. Hopefully, your doubt about ‘should you stretch before or after a workout’ is clear now. If you have any queries left about stretching or you have any other topic in mind that you want us to explain, feel free to write to us