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Pre or Post Workout, Include Stretching

I remember saying to one of my gym clients a few years before that stretching wasn’t necessary. Now, after bumping against several injuries and considering the advice of a great physiotherapist I am compelled to stretch regularly.

There are several ways you can stretch. For example, you go to 10 gyms in your vicinity. You will find 10 different stretching protocols and styles. The underlying belief is most of us know that some kind of stretching is good– an inherent conclusion that stretching is good. However, since we would like rationalize we want to know the scientific reason behind stretching.

Stretching lengthens the connective tissue, and so optimal range of motion is reached in the exercise. So some stretches can be performed before the workout; whereas, some stretches can be done after the workout –acting as major contributor to return connective tissue to normal levels. Bringing the connective tissue to optimal level is essential. You have to recall that the temperature and tension of the connective tissue is raised as a result of training. The heightened temperature and tension is not conducive for optimal muscle function. It results in slower recovery process.

However, stretching can be our savior. Stretching is an extremely powerful recovery method in bringing back the connective tissue to optimal levels. Moreover, to derive actual benefit from stretching– the post workout stretch, which is presumably of longer duration, has to be focused and relaxed. Ideally two days of stretching in a week can work favorably.

The purpose of a pre-workout stretch is to lengthen the connective tissue. Moreover, specific warm up drills contribute well to the pre workout stretches by heightening the neural drive. As result of increased blood circulation you are better prepared for the workout.

Pre or post workout, involve stretching in your training arsenal and reap the long-lasting benefit.

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