Stretching is an exercise that has always been there, but most people haven’t been taking it seriously, now that you know the benefits, you should put it into practice.
Do it regularly if you want to experience changes but don’t overdo it because you might feel pain after some time. Learn ways of doing stretches, the time to start and when to stop, and the precautions to take in case of an injury.
What Type Of Stretching Is Most Recommended For General Fitness Purposes?
Stretching has been divided into five categories and one that is recommended for general fitness is static stretching.
This is the easiest exercise whereby you need to ease slowly into a position and gold for a maximum of 30 seconds before releasing it. The term static stretch means a type of exercise done without movement.
This type of workout is safe and effective and an excellent choice for beginners. There are fewer injuries that have been associated with static stretch, however, there are rules you need to follow when performing this exercise.
Use different techniques – if you want it to be effective, you should use techniques like active stretches and long statistics.
Be in a good position – this is very important, specify how you want someone to stretch. A lot of people do not stretch, they look like they are trying to stretch, but in real sense, they are not.
Stretching is uncomfortable but not painful – You need to know that good stretching should never be painful, if you feel a slight discomfort, it shows that you are well-positioned.
Stretch all areas – make sure all areas are stretched don’t just focus on one.
Benefits of Static Stretches
- Improves your sporting performance
- It makes you more flexible
- Gets rid of stiff, tight muscles, joints
- Removes pains, injuries and aches
- Improves freedom of movement
What Happens If You Don’t Stretch?
Stretching your muscles is very important it’s just that some people don’t really want to try, if you are the kind of people who maintain an active lifestyle heading to the gym after a tough day is a good idea.
If you are used to working out, it’s time you add stretching as part of your daily routine. Below are some of the things that happen when you do not stretch.
Increased rate of injuries
When you fail to stretch, your muscles and joints become stiff and your chances of getting injured increase. Most of the runners who do not stretch experience this all the time, runners should at least stretch after their workout or run. They tend to stress their muscles and this is what leads to injuries.
Your muscles are kind of similar to rubber bands and when extended, they snap in half. The more you use them, the more stronger they become, similar to muscles when stretched regularly, the joints range of motion and flexibility improves. If you fail to stretch your muscles and joints, they will reduce their mobility.
Your body becomes vulnerable to tightness and muscle pain
When you don’t stretch regularly, your body becomes cold and that is why your muscles tighten up. Your muscles will then pull on joints and cause discomfort and pain.
Can You Stretch Too Often?
You can stretch often, but you should not overdo it, it is not okay to do stretches every day. If your muscles are not causing problems and are not tight, then there is no need of stretching it.
Stretching is good when done correctly, even if something is good, you should not overdo it because it can finally cause injuries.
Stretching has both pros and cons, so you should visit a professional to help you before you start any workout and not only stretching.
Cons of Stretching
- When performed before strength training, it can increase risk of injuring yourself
- Leads to a reduced long term training
- Decreased maximum strength
- It is less effective when it comes to increasing range of motion
- Stretching activates stretch reflex, which in turn stops muscles from relaxing
Does Stretching Burn Fat?
Yes, stretching can burn fat. When it comes to cutting weight, people tend to believe that the most effective way is the cardio workouts.
Stretching and yoga exercises can burn fat if done regularly. After all, stretching is easy and anyone can work on it.
There are several types of stretching exercises that burn fat, you should try some that are comfortable with you, if you haven’t stretched before, some of the recommended stretching types for you are;
- It is a stretching exercise that targets your oblique, shoulders, hips, abs, back and chest. Here are ways to perform the exercise.
- Lie down on a mat and stretch your arms at the sides, your feet should stick together.
- Your upper body should then be lifted upwards
- Then lean your head back
- Stay in the position for 30 seconds
- It targets abs, oblique and back. To perform this exercise successfully, you should:
- Sit on the floor, stretch one leg in front of you.
- The other leg should be bent at knee and crosses over the other one
- Your body should then be twisted towards the bent knee
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds while twisting your body
Is Stretching Before Or After Workout Better?
Stretching is a good idea, you should do it at least two times per week for about 30 to 60 seconds. It is good to stay flexible at your age because it helps you move better and live a healthy life.
Stretching keeps your hamstrings and hips flexible, so stretching outside periods of exercise is good since it increases speed and power hence reducing injuries.
The right time for you to stretch is when your muscles are pliable and warm and this is after a workout.
Stretching after a workout is beneficial, it gives your body a good recovery as well as boosting joint flexibility and releasing tension and stress.
Benefits of Stretching after Workouts
Improves blood circulation
When you work out thoroughly, your body pumps blood faster than usual making your heart beat rapidly. When you stretch, it cools down the body and returns the heart beat rate to it’s normal form.
Boosts your energy
When you stretch properly, your energy level becomes consistent and steady and you are likely going to experience it. After a good post work out stretch, you’ll be so much energized and ready for any kind of challenge.
It’s nice to stretch after a workout because it can reduce pain. If your muscles are still tight after working out, there is a risk of muscles injury and to avoid that consider doing stretches it can minimize and reduce injuries.
Slows down the body
When a rapid exercise is done, your body might feel fatigued and drained, don’t worry because breath and stretching techniques will help you feel relaxed and rested.
One main benefit of stretching after a workout is the increased rate of flexibility. Stretches ensure that contracted muscles are released back to normal and comfortable state.
Should I Stretch Before Or After Walking?
Stretch before you walk if you want to avoid injuries, stretching also increases your performance when walking and prevents your muscles from next sore.
You should learn about proper stretches to warm and cool after walking, it helps decrease chances of getting injured.
There are several other b befits associated with stretching before walking, you should know some of the basics. One basic is warming up for some time, what warming up means is walking around as you gently swing your arms.
The stretches should also be done before and after walking, try holding in position for about twenty seconds or if you start feeling a gentle stretch. You can hold onto something for balance.
Why Am I Sore After Stretching?
Stretching should be fun because it makes you feel good and increases the flow of blood towards the muscles and reduces pain and improves your moods. If you feel sore after stretching, it means that you are hurting yourself by overstretching.
You might feel sore the same day or the day after stretching. To avoid injuries and improve flexibility, it is advisable that you should first go through a stretching routine.
Overstretching muscles too much can lead to an injury, if you are stretching correctly, you will realize that you feel a slight pull in the muscle. However, much stretching feels comfortable you should do much to improve your flexibility.
Stretching should not be painful but comfortable, if you feel a sharp pain know that you are overstretching and hurting yourself. Another sign of overstretching is feeling so the same day you stretch, if you happen to feel sore, reduce the rate at which you are stretching.
Is It Okay To Stretch Sore Muscles?
It’s not okay to stretch sore muscles, it is already painful and stretching can cause more injuries. If you feel sore after stretching, consider taking a break for some days or reduce doing too many stretches.
You should do exercises properly and if you do not know what to do, visit a professional or a gym instructor to give you guidelines. If you are a beginner, do not do many stretches on the first day because you will injure yourself.
Your body should adjust to the new exercise that is why you need to do it slowly, increase the rate when your body starts getting used to it. Do not be in a hurry, do the necessary things and stop injuring yourself, everyone tries at a small pace and with time, they got used to it.
If you do a lot of stretches, you will not be able to them the next day, exercising needs patience and commitment together with working out properly. Not only are you supposed to be responsible when it comes to stretches but on other types of exercises.
Should You Stretch Before Bed?
Yes, stretching before bed is advisable and healthy so long as you do the correct type of stretch. It is among the most recommended natural sleep remedies apart from drinking chamomile tea, stretching helps you sleep faster and also increases the quality of your sleep.
You might be wondering why stretching is essential and how it affects sleep, stretching focuses on breath and your body and body awareness is what helps in promoting sleep.
Some stretching routines you should add to your night routines are neck stretches, bear hug, child’s pose, seated forward bend, kneeling last stretch, low lunge, legs up the wall pose, amongst others.
Can Stretching Make You Taller?
No, stretching can never make you taller, it only prevents pain, improves mobility, prevents injuries and fights off aches. Stretching has nothing to do with height, so do not be fooled.
Getting taller is determined by your born structure and several other factors, don’t give yourself hope in doing exercises thinking that you will be tall, be satisfied by your height and appreciate who you are.
Stretching is an exercise just like other exercise that you know their benefits, the only way of increasing height is by wearing high heeled shoes.
You can do surgeries to add some parts of your body, for instance, breasts, but you can do nothing about it when it comes to height.
Once your growth rate has stopped, you will not be tall no matter the type and number of exercises you do. If you do not feel satisfied with your height, consider trying some other options but not stretching.
Stretching is excellent only when done in the proper manner if you do not want to injure yourself, know the type of stretching recommended for general fitness purposes, what happens when you do not stretch, if stretchy burns fat, whether you can stretch too often, if you should stretch before and after walking and why you feel sore after stretching.