Before you hit the ground running (literally), take a moment and stretch. Before and after every workout, you should make stretching a priority. Stretching before a workout helps your muscles relax and untighten. This can help prevent an injury or torn muscle. If you have ever torn or strained a muscle before, you know just how painful and aggravating it can be.
Stretching isn’t just for fitness junkies though, everyone should implement some form into their daily routine! It helps relieve tension in your muscles and other parts of your body, keeps your muscles strong and active, and can help your body heal faster. Here are a couple of Pre and Post workout stretches to implement from Gator Fitness.
More than likely, you learned what a jumping jack was in elementary or grade school. Who knew you would still be utilizing something you learned in school all those years ago? Jumping jacks are a simple exercise that doubles as a stretch. Imagine creating a snow angel, but standing up! That is how a correct jumping jack should look. Spread your feet shoulder width apart, then return them back together and repeat. While your feet are spread apart, lift your arms above your head in a ‘Y’ shape, then bring them back down by your side when your feet come back together.
Before or after engaging in an intense workout for your legs, be sure to stretch them properly. Your legs tend to be sore more often than any other muscles in your body. So before or after a workout where you feel the tightness in your legs, try stretching by either propping it up on something, or sitting with your legs stretched out and try to reach your calf, ankle or foot.
If you’re a runner or jogger, this is especially important to ensure you don’t tear or strain a muscle. The more you stretch, the more flexible your muscles become.
Walk or Jog
Another great way to get your muscles loose and working is to take a light jog or fast-paced walk. Don’t overexert yourself, this should only be a quick warm up before your actual workout. If you don’t have a lot of room, try running or jogging in place.
As we already mentioned, you don’t have to be working out in order to implement these stretches into your everyday life. Everybody should take a quick walk or jog during the day to keep your muscles loose and strong. We’ve all been in the house too long, it’s time to get out and get moving again.
Stretching your arms is just as important as stretching your legs. Before ‘arm day’, be sure to stretch those muscles to avoid any injuries or sore muscles after. There are so many different ways you can stretch your arm muscles, you probably already have a few favorites. To ensure you are stretching all four of the muscles in your upper arm, incorporate different arm movements, such as pulling your arm back over your head and trying to touch your shoulder blade or pulling your arm across your chest.
These are just a handful of stretches to implement into your workout or daily routine. We want you to keep your body in the best shape possible, and that means taking care of your muscles and working out safely.