Stretching can be a tricky thing when it comes to exercising. We never want to stretch out when our muscles aren't warm and yet, we want to make sure to stretch before we workout so that we don't pull anything. Sounds like a catch 22. When it comes to stretching we should be stretching before and after our workouts. However, we need to pay attention to what kind of stretches we are performing.
We should use dynamic stretching when warming up for a workout. A dynamic stretch is a stretch done with controlled movement. This type of stretch enables our muscles to warm up without overly stretching the muscle. Arm swings, leg swings or arm walks (reaching for the floor and walking your arms out) are all great stretches to do before you workout.
Once our muscles have warmed up, we use static stretches to work on flexibility and prevent soreness after a workout. During this type of stretch we hold the position as we elongate the muscle. Static stretches are a great way to cool down post workout, but again, don't get too cool or you may risk a pulled muscle. Some of my favorite static stretches include pigeon pose, seated straddle and spinal twist.
It is so important to incorporate stretching into our workouts. We should use dynamic stretching (controlled movement) before our workout and static stretching (holding the stretch) during or immediately after we exercise. Flexibility is just as important as strength and endurance so stretch it out babes! x