We all know the importance of stretching but how many of us actually take the time to do it? Stretching is just as important as your actual workout. It not only helps with recovery but it also helps improve your mobility and performance. Now the important question: to stretch before or after your workout? The answer is you should be doing both but for different reasons. Here are some tips on how to stretch pre- and post-workout.
Stretching before your workout is a great way to warm your body up especially if you workout first thing in the morning or after sitting at a desk all day. It is important to remember that before your workout, you will want to do dynamic stretching not static stretching like you would normally do after your workout. Jumping jacks, walking lunges with a twist, glute bridges, skipping, butt kicks and knee pulls are great dynamic stretches that can be beneficial to any workout routine.
It is important to do static stretching after a workout to give your body time to cool down and help speed up recovery. No one wants to be too sore to workout the next day simply because they forgot to stretch. Spend a few minutes stretching areas like your hamstrings by extending your feet straight out in front of you and touching your toes, stretching your quadriceps by bending one leg at a time and pulling it behind you, your groin by sitting in the butterfly position and leaning forward, and your upper arms by extending your arms over head with the palms touching and pulling them back away from your head.
How to Stretch Deeper
If you want a deeper stretch or help with your flexibility, try purchasing an eco-friendly resistance band. Home-Complete has a line of stretch bands made from 100% eco-friendly latex. Using a resistance band is a great way to get a deep stretch on your hamstrings, IT band, arms and shoulders.