The importance of stretching before workouts
Stretching helps prepare your body for the exercise it’s about to get. Before you stretch, it’s important to warm up first. Warming up helps raise the temperature of your body and your muscles so they’ll be ready for exercise and prevent injuries. After your body is warmed up, it’s time to stretch.
A maintenance stretch is usually held for between 10-15 seconds.
Stretching helps to:
• reduce muscle tension, and make the body feel more relaxed
• increase the range of motion
• prevent muscle strains: a strong pre-stretched muscle resists stress better than a strong unstretched muscle
• prevent joint strains
• reduce the risk of back problems
• prepare the body for strenuous exercise
• increase ‘body awareness’
• promote circulation
• for females, reduces the severity of painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
• increase the learning, practice, and performance of many types of skilled movements
• reduce muscular soreness
You should not stretch if:
• there has been a recent bone fracture, sprain or strain
• the range of motion is in some way limited
• the joint is inflamed or infected
• if you have signs of osteoporosis
• you experience pain when the joint is moved or the muscle is stretched
• you are suffering from certain diseases of the skin or blood
Having good flexibility can improve your sports performance and reduce your risk of injury.