*this post is sponsored by fabletics. all thoughts and opinions are my own*
Just a friendly reminder that I haven’t worked out in, get this, two weeks. I was on vacay two weeks ago and I obviously wasn’t going to work out then, and I couldn’t get my butt into action this past week. I didn’t think it would be fitting to share a few of my workout routines since 1) I haven’t tried any new ones anddd 2) I haven’t worked out in general (please see above). However! I have been stretching a lot, every day for about 20 minutes, and doing some yoga. I can finally do a head stand (!!) and the crow, I’m mega proud even though it’s not that cool. Anyway, I thought I’d go over a few of the benefits of stretching since it’s SO important to do. Not only after a workout but before, too (so many people forget about stretching before a work out).
When you work out, lactic acid builds up in your muscles. This often leads to muscle soreness and fatigue (truth). Stretching after a workout helps to reduce muscle fatigue. When you stretch after a workout, your muscles are warm and you benefit from increased blood circulation.
I’m sure you guys have noticed a huge difference when you don’t stretch after a workout. I especially have sore muscles when I wake up the next day if I don’t stretch (or stretch for a small amount and it was a vigorous workout). There are different types of stretches that you can apply b/a a workout: static (stretching in between workouts), dynamic (moving in repeated actions), passive (you would use equipment for passives stretching, such as a weight), and active (contracting the muscle in opposition to the one being stretched). The most popular are static and dynamic stretches, though!
:: Perks of stretching before a workout ::
Increases the flow of oxygen – The bloodstream to your muscles increases because of the flow of oxygen. When you don’t receive enough oxygen in your muscles, you can experience tightness and/or tension.
Longer workouts – Because your muscles aren’t tight from your pre-workout, they won’t tire as easily. The pre-stretching helps loosen your muscles and tendons giving you relief from muscle fatigue. Makes sense, right?
Injury Prevention – If you are training for a run (or many other sports), pre-stretching and a warm-up are both very important to prevent injury. After reading a few articles, it was 50/50 if stretching really did prevent injury. Some said yes, others so it did but only if a warm-up was accompanying it. Thoughts?
:: Perks of stretching after a workout ::
Increases flexibility – After a workout, I tend to incorporate yoga into my stretching (like my headstands and crow pose). Flexibility is really important in general in fitness, but it also helps alleviate muscle tension. Plus, it stretches out your muscles that you just used that may be sore from the workout.
Cools body down – After a hard workout, your heart rate increases. Immediately stopping after a workout isn’t a good idea, so calm your heart rate down but some simple stretching moves. It also helps imporve circulation (when cooling down!).
Reduces cramping – Nobody likes to have cramped muscles. One of the worsts! If you don’t drink enough water before/during/after a workout, you can experience major muscle cramps. Regulary stretching your muscles (esepcially if they’re sore from a previous workout) and drinking water will help you out with your cramps!
:: Best Stretching Routines ::
This one for before the workout is only 5 minutes!
Another quick stretch, this video is 10 minutes and a post-workout stretch guide 🙂
I use this one on a daily basis, definitely one of my favorites.
I’ll combine the stretches in the BBG and apply those, as well. Takes about 15 minutes for me to go through just those stretches!
What is your favorite stretch? I want to know in the comments!