I’m a big believer in stretching. It makes your workouts more effective, improvse athletic performance, and speeds the recovery process to help you build muscle. There are two types of stretching and each has its benefits. Yet, I see people motivated for results laser-focused on their workouts and meal plans, but rarely putting in even a small amount of effort into this key component that can help them progress even faster.
Here’s why you need to make both types of stretching a regular part of your fitness routine. Neither require any equipment and can literally be done anywhere, so no more excuses!
Touching your toes, the hurdlers stretch, basically any movement where you extend a body part and hold it (no bouncing!). More specifically, this is known as static stretching. This type of stretching is great for:
• Increasing flexibility
• Relieving tension
• Increasing blood flow to muscles
• Speeding recovery
• Preventing injury
That last one needs a closer look. We all remember stretching in gym class before running, playing sports, or other physical activities to warmup and prevent injury. However, we know now that stretching a cold muscle can actually cause an injury.
I do static stretching every day for about 5-10 minutes, after my workout when my muscles are already warm. I hold each stretch for around 20-30 seconds.
Arm circles, leg swings, high kicks, walking lunges, these are just a few examples of dynamic stretches. This type of stretching involves active motion, rather than holding a pose for an extended period. Dynamic stretching boosts blood flow, raises muscle temperature, and helps increase range of motion.
I do dynamic stretching before weight training or cardio to warmup the muscles and joints. For example, I might do 3 sets of 15-20 rep of leg swings to warmup my legs, glutes, and hips before a leg workout. 👍
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One of the biggest names in the fitness industry, Nicole Wilkins is a world-record holding four-time Figure Olympia Champion and 2012 IFPA Personal Trainer of the Year. Nicole earned her BA in Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention at Oakland University. The owner and founder of nPower Nutrition, Nicole has helped thousands of people start living a healthier lifestyle and reach their fitness goals.