Although many often underestimate its benefits, training should always be included in your warm-up routine. In addition to preventing injuries and possible muscle injuries, in fact, stretching before training allows better preparation for physical effort, ensuring greater elasticity and flexibility. In addition, the health of the muscle groups will greatly benefit in the long run.
Whether you are a professional athlete or a simple practitioner, in this article we will show you all the benefits of stretching before training. Regardless of the type of sport, whether indoor or outdoor and the technical elements of the exercises you are going to do, it is good that the lengthening becomes an integral part of your heating. As you will see, the benefits of your body will be innumerable.
Because you need to stretch before training
Have you ever wondered what are the real benefits of stretching before training? There are many, and below we have decided to summarize the most important ones. Let’s see them together, one by one:
- Reduces muscle stiffness when the body’s muscles are tense and stiff. And it’s very useful because this can affect basic activities like walking, moving or even talking.
Improves muscle tone, relieving residual muscle tension, or the partial, passive and continuous contraction of muscles.
- Promotes blood circulation: this action is of vital importance in the body as it aims to bring oxygen and nutrients to all cells, favoring the expulsion of carbon dioxide from the lungs.
- Reduces the risk of injury: since a well-stretched muscle is more elastic, it will be more resistant to any future stress.
- Prevents back pain: since it avoids overloading, especially in the lumbar part, preventing contractions and spasms.
- Improves posture: stretching allows you to maintain your posture and relax your muscles even during REM sleep.
- Helps to release stress: you will prepare yourself for physical activity with ready and quick muscles, freeing yourself from the stress accumulated during the workday.
- Increases muscle efficiency: improves the performance of the whole body, harmonizing the muscular work you are going to do.
Stretching before training improves flexibility
On the other hand, stretching before training will help you improve flexibility, which is the ability to perform movements making the most of every joint.
Flexibility is very important because it promotes muscle balance around a joint, thus improving posture. Moreover, it reduces the likelihood of suffering injuries during the practice of a sport, increasing the supply of blood and nutrients to the muscles and cartilage. This obviously also reduces the pain after a workout or a competition.
An important indication is that you should never do stretching “cold”, but it is better to perform stretching postures after warming up the muscles, for example with 5/10 minutes of running or light aerobic activity. But let’s see, then, some practical advice to get the most out of this important training phase.
Never stretch without heating
Since the main goal of this article is to talk about the importance of stretching, we couldn’t avoid explaining how to stretch. As said before, the first thing to do is to carry out a light warm-up, which should last about five or ten minutes and should be at low intensity. This can consist of walking at a fast pace, in a regular run but at a constant speed …
Once preheating is complete, it will be necessary to start stretching correctly, to adequately prepare each muscle for physical effort.
Stretching without preheating produces a decrease in strength and muscle power. This fact affects the body’s performance and, in some cases, can cause injury. Five minutes of bad stretching can reduce strength and power for the next two hours.
A fundamental ally for muscle health
What should be done is to stretch each muscle group in a slow and controlled way. Keep the stretch at the point of slight tension and gradually increase, but without ever reaching the point of pain. We advise you to maintain this posture for a maximum of 10-12 seconds.
The next step is the post-race stretching or training session. Also, in this case, you will have to take into consideration all the muscle groups that have intervened in the activity. The stretching session will be a little longer, with postures maintained for at least 20 seconds. The goal of post-race stretching is to help the muscle restore and improve its length.
You will never have to stretch if you have suffered a muscle injury or some kind of distortion. Nor when the joints or muscles show inflammation or acute pain or after a recent fracture.
In conclusion, stretching before training has very favorable effects on your body in general and intervenes in the prevention of sports injuries. It is essential to be aware of the benefits of muscle stretching. because the correct use of these postures will allow you to improve your performance and keep away the specter of any unpleasant injuries.