If you have ever played sports, committed to fitness training, or even taken a gym class in your life, then you have undoubtedly been reminded over and over and over again to stretch! But recently I realized that while many of my clients knew that they should stretch, they didn’t particularly know why they were stretching. So, in today’s blog, I’m going to explain why stretching is so important!
Fitness Training: The Importance of Stretching When Working Out
So there’s no doubt that plenty of people in your life have reminded you to “Stretch” before physical activity, but have they ever actually told you why you need to stretch? Well, today I am going to tell you everything you need to know…
What is Stretching?
Let’s begin with the basics…what is stretching?
When we talk about stretching in relation to fitness, we are talking about improving flexibility, lengthening and elongating muscles, and soft tissues. We do this by putting particular parts of the body in positions so that the muscles and soft tissues are gently elongated and lengthened.
The Different Types of Stretching
There are two types of stretching – static stretching and dynamic stretching. These are exactly what they sound like…
Static stretching is stretching while remaining stationary, for example, you sit on the floor and hold a particular stretch in a stationary position for a period of time.
Dynamic stretching is stretching while moving such as swinging or bouncing while stretching to extend flexibility and range of motion. For example, you may see a runner or a hurdle jumper doing front swings where they swing the leg frontward and pulling back.
Why Do We Stretch?
Stretching is important because it allows for lengthening and flexibility of the muscles. If we don’t regularly stretch, the muscles get shorter and tighter and this limits our range of motion. This also means that when we do try a physical activity, our weaker muscles are susceptible to injury. Stretching regularly, however, helps to keep the muscles flexible and long so that when we exercise we are more physically capable.
There are numerous studies that tout the benefits of stretching and others that share the possible detriments of stretching in a certain way. Often, these studies get misinterpreted, so here’s what they say in a nutshell…
Studies found that for some particular types of exercise, stretching in a particular way can be detrimental to performance. More specifically, it found that you should begin your stretches with static stretching and end with dynamic stretching and sports specific stretches. Doing static stretches as the last part of your warmup routine is NOT recommended, but this shouldn’t be interpreted as any type of stretching being bad for you at any time.
Interested in Beginning Fitness Training in Dunedin?
If you are interested in beginning a fitness training routine one-on-one here in Dunedin, why not give me a call? Just dial (727) 755-3485 to set up an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you and don’t forget to take advantage of my personal training session discount packages!