Stretching fact or fiction?
Myth 1: You should always stretch before your workout.
- While stretching should be incorporated in each workout, you shouldn't stretch when your muscles are cold. This could lead to a higher risk of pulling a muscle. Each workout should begin with a warm up. This can be jogging a couple of laps on the track, jumping rope, or doing some jumping jacks. Once your muscles are warm, then you should jump into some static stretches or a dynamic stretching routine.
Myth 2: Everyone should do the same type of stretching.
- Each person has different needs and mobility deficits. Plan your stretching around your goals and the physical activity you are about to do. For running and jumping, it is recommended that your stretching routine include dynamic stretches.
Myth 3: If I stretched before my workout, I don't need to stretch after.
- Stretching after a workout will reduce muscle soreness, fatigue, and will help speed the recovery process by increasing blood circulation. After your workout is complete, your muscles are warm so it is the perfect time to do some static stretches. For example, after your run hold a calf or hamstring stretch to get the blood flowing and help you on your road to recovery before your next training run.