Why You’re Stretching in All of the Wrong Ways + 10 Stretching Routines

{HABIT: Stregnth & Flex}
Month: 8 / Week: 1

FlexibilityWhat types of stretching you choose to do will depend on your needs and preferences. These are purely intended to work into a healthy lifestyle, not train Olympic athletes. If you want to up your game to that level or have any concerns with stretching, get in touch with a personal trainer!**

Most people pick a few random stretches and do them before or after their workout, if they stretch at all. That’s like planning an elaborate dinner party and going to the store without any plan. You might get some of what you need, but chances are you’ve missed something.

What type of stretching do you choose? It depends on your goals and preferences.

Static Stretching

What it is: stretching that involves holding a position for a set time
Best for: post-workout

Many people still practice static stretching before workouts but research has shown it may be counterproductive.*  This type of stretching is typically best when your muscles are warm. Do it after a workout to improve overall flexibility. Here’s a few great static stretching routines

Dynamic Stretching

What it is: stretching that involves movement within your full range of motion
Best for: warming up before a workout

Unlike the stretches we did in gym class, dynamic warm ups are better suited to get your body ready for a workout– whether it be strength training or aerobic exercises (running, swimming, elliptical, etc.). Do these before a workout to improve your mobility during exercise and activities of daily living.* Here’s a few dynamic stretching routines:

Foam Rolling

What it is: a technique used to support active muscles and aid in recovery of sore muscles
Best for: very active individuals, certain injuries, post workout soreness

Foam rolling is most often used by athletes and physical therapists but the average person can use it too! It’s a great way to massage some of that overworked tissue. Here’s a few foam rolling stretching routines:

CHALLENGE:  Create a daily stretching routine. Whether it’s to warm up before or cool down after a workout, a practice to improve flexibility, a means to treat sore muscles, or simply a way to wake up, stretching can enhance your fitness and make you feel great! All you need is 5-10 minutes each day.

Which routine will you choose?
NEW to the healthy habits challenge ? Start here.

*References: ACE Fitness 

**Disclaimer: I am not a certified personal trainer. This information has been provided for your educational and entertainment value. Opinions expressed here are my own as a result of my education, background, and experience. Please consult with your healthcare provider or fitness professional before beginning any exercise routine. Read more…

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