The Importance of Stretching

November 1st, 2019

You just finished a grueling training session at the gym, and are ready to get on with your day. Not so fast. You NEED to stretch! Stretching offers tons of benefits and should be done before and after exercise to help your body prepare for and recover after a workout. Here are 8 reasons why to make sure to always fit it into your session!

Increases Flexibility

Regular stretching does wonders for flexibility. Why is this important? Flexibility is crucial for your overall health in that it helps you perform everyday activities with ease and delays the reduced mobility that comes along with aging.

Increases Range of Motion

Full range of motion equals freedom of movement and stretching can help get you there. A recent study found that both static and dynamic (active) stretching are effective in increasing range of motion which helps with improved sports performance, better posture, and flexibility. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching (stretching a muscle to its limit) is effective for immediate gains.

Improves Sports Performance

Most, if not all, sports and exercise programs require some degree of flexibility. With regular stretching you’ll develop strength through the full range of motion at the joint. Increased flexibility can improve performance and prevent injury.

Trainer Tip: Remember to stretch before and after exercising – not just before. Dynamic (active) stretches before physical activity prepares your muscles for activity.

Prevents Injuries

Stretching is known to prevent acute (i.e. hamstring strain) and overuse injuries (i.e. IT band syndrome or plantar fasciitis). This is another reason why dynamic stretching, as opposed to traditional static stretching, during the warm-up process is crucial.

Increases Blood Flow to Muscles

Regular stretching improves circulation, and improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles. This is helpful because it can shorten recovery time and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (microscopic tears in the muscle that occurs 24 to 48 hours after exercise).

Improves Posture

When muscles are imbalanced, it can lead to poor posture, which can eventually lead to aches and pains. A combination of strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment.

Heals and Prevents Back Pain

When muscles are tight, it will decrease your range of motion which can result in strained back muscles. Regular stretching will prevent back pain by strengthening the muscles and reducing the risk of strain. Stretching is also known to improve any existing muscle-related back pain and injury.

Provides Stress Relief

Physical and emotional stress is a huge culprit of muscle tightness. Stretching will help relax muscles (and your mind) so you can perform at your best. Focus on areas of your body that tend to hold stress such as your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

At Driven Fit + SWS, we believe that stretching is an integral component of our fitness programs. For information on our private and semi-private personal training and fitness, please call or text us today at (813) 440-3016. Our studio also offers wellness treatments including acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage for a total body transformation.

Categories: LifestyleRejuvenationTransformation

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