Incorporating daily exercise routines is great for your mind and body. The question is, do you just jump right into your workout for the day? If so, you might want to consider why taking a moment to stretch before exercising is beneficial. These tips for different stretches can help maximize your daily workouts.
Static stretching is defined as: stretching a muscle to the point of mild discomfort and holding that position, typically for thirty seconds or longer. This can help loosen up that part of the muscle that is about to engage in vigorous activity and increase the flexibility.
Dynamic stretching is defined as: performing gentle repetitive movements, where one gradually increases the range of motion of the movement, but always remains within the normal range of motion. This is another way to loosen up that muscle before activity, but to mimic the activity you are about to do.
Some workouts might prefer one over the other, but both static and dynamic stretching can be beneficial pre-workout. Choosing to stretch before exercising can lower opportunity for injuries and increase the range of motions you are about to complete during exercise. It is ideal to “wake up” your muscles beforehand and shift them from a resting state to exercising. Try these stretches before your workouts:
- Jumping jacks and jogging in place can get your heart rate up and get your body prepared for exercise.
- Arm circles can get the blood flowing before lifting weights.
- Leg swings and walking lunges can increase range of motion before running and minimize potential strains.
Being knowledgeable about the different types of stretching and how they can help you before a workout can benefit your body during and after your exercise. Try pairing different stretches with your workout for that day and feel a difference with the muscles and heart rate that is already eager to go.
Commonwealth Spine and Pain Management is dedicated to our patients and their health. If you need help managing your pain or learning about safe exercise techniques, contact us at (804) 288-7246 for an appointment.