How To Stretch Before And After A Workout

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It is very sad, that nowadays we are used to sitting all day long in front of our computer or television. If we don’t take any break for example once an hour, don’t stretch at all or visit a masseur now and then, our whole body gets stuck. We feel it especially in wrists, forearms, shoulders, upper back and hamstrings. When you learn how to stretch before and after workout, you can use those skills always, when feeling too much tension in body.

Stretching Advantages

Stretching does:

  • improve metabolism
  • add joint mobility
  • relax muscles
  • promote blood circulation
  • improve energy levels
  • reduce soreness
  • fortify posture

I am already a senior citizen, who has used his body a lot during 69 years. Because of that I have to use stretching before and after a workout and evenings, too.

Dynamic Stretching

Before a workout I recommend you to do first a short 5 minutes warm-up with some cardio machine. If you do not have any, have a brief dynamic stretching instead. Make circles with arms and body, and bend body. My own dynamic stretching takes a couple of minutes. It consists of:

  • 10 big circles forward with straight arms
  • 10 big circles backward with straight arms
  • 10 circles forward with bending arms, fingers on shoulders
  • 10 circles backward with bending arms, fingers on shoulders
  • 10 arm swings at shoulder level, left and right
  • 10 body circles left with hands on hips
  • 10 body circles right with hands on hips
  • 10 upper body bending down
  • arms and feet shaking

I usually do some roll-outs with a Pilates Foam Roller and if I am going to train my legs, I’ll use a High Roller, too. These additional activities take on a couple of minutes.

Static Stretching

After a workout it is a good idea to do a static stretching, but only a short one. This means, that you should use only about 5 seconds for each stretch. My cool-down usually consist on light 5 minute spinning and after that, a short stretching.

My static stretching program has been already several years:

Number 2 means, that I stretch with the both legs/hands.

After these stretches I usually do some roll-outs with a Pilates Foam Roller and High Roller, too.

Before Going To Bed. 30-60 minutes before I am going to bed, I have a stretching workout, but now with longer stretch. Each of them take 30-60 seconds. I have found, that my sleep is higher quality, when done those.

Other Recovery Activities

Beside the proper training habits with warm-ups and cool-downs, there are some other activities, which speed up recovery. Of course, it is very important, that you eat proper food, sleep enough and try to avoid unnecessary stress. If these are not enough, you can try:

  • visit a masseur
  • visit a physical theraby
  • ice baths etc.

Conclusion

Stretching during your seated work, before and after workouts and evenings, helps many ways to enjoy daily life. Learn now how to stretch and make it a habit.

If you have any questions about stretching, send them via email to arto.painilainen@gmail.com

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