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Stretching before workouts is extremely important and extremely underestimated. The activity involves one to flex and stretch their muscles. This improves the flexibility of the muscle being stretched and enhances its elasticity. The result of correctly stretching your muscles is better control over them, enhanced range of motion, and less probability of getting hurt during a workout exercise.
It is widely recommended to stretch your muscles before you start any strength training or even athletic workout because it lowers the risk factor associated with them. People ignore this aspect of fitness and underestimate its importance in the wake of the actual workout routine they follow. It should definitely be included in your fitness regime because it offers some wonderful benefits, both physical and mental. There is always a chance that you will get injured during an exercise which is why stretching holds some great value. Stretching improves the quality of tissues and aids in the prevention of injuries. There are basically two types of stretching – dynamic and static. Let us discuss the two types in a little more detail.
Pre workout stretching should include dynamic stretching. Why? Because dynamic stretching puts the muscles you are flexing in full range of motion and removes the stiffness in the joints. The strength and flexibility of joints is very important for the successful execution of any exercise and if your joints are stiff, you wouldn't be able to perform most workouts without getting injured. Dynamic stretching makes your muscles warm and also boosts the nervous system and prepares it for some intense training. This preps you up for your exercises and you can perform them with minimum risks and maximum efficiency.
Stretching is not just important before the workout but is also very helpful during and after it. The stretching which is employed during and post workout is known as static stretching and works in the opposite way dynamic stretching does. While dynamic stretching is all about warming up your mind and muscles, static stretching is used to quiet them a bit. While you are working out, it is not uncommon for certain muscles to get more involved in the workout than they should be. One needs to lower their nervous involvement and static stretching is a strategic and effective way to do so.
Static stretching involves the individual to stretch and hold the muscle till its nervous involvement dies down. This leads the nervous system to give more work to the other less involved muscles. Post workout, you don't want your muscles to remain warm and ready to work. Stretch your whole body and hold the muscles in the stretched position for long periods of time. This will relax your muscles and also make them more flexible and mobile. Focus on one area at a time and stretch each region with care before you proceed to the next one.