Monday, July 25, 2011

Stretching: When and How?

When and how should I stretch properly for exercise?

Stretching helps a lot before engaging in any physical activity because it loosens muscles and helps avoid muscle cramps. I always spend 10 minutes stretching before I exercise because if I don't my joints hurt so bad. Stretching releases a lubricating substance from the cartilage within the joints and this helps keep the bones from scraping each other. I'm gonna share to you some points that I have got during my research. Check it out, guys! Peaceout!

Athletic Sports:
Before: 15 minutes warm-up
After: Stretch legs, chest. neck. and any other trained body parts after your cooldown. if you stretch directly after using the muscles, you'll slow down recovery.
How: Dynamic or static. Dynamic should be seesawing movements. Make sure you hold each stretch for 10 seconds.

Before: Not necessary to stretch prior to the activity.
After: Run/trot for five minutes while shaking out your muscles. After showering, stretch your legs, chest, and neck. your body reacts best to stretching 1-2 hours after running.
How: Dynamic or static but be gentle. :)

Before: Move your joints in large, wide movements without overexertion. Arm circles get the joint fluid moving in your shoulders, but stretching the chest decreases performance.
After: Breaststrokers, freestylers and butterflyers should counterstretch, backstrokers shouldn't. Stretch your forward shouder muscles, because otherwise the curve of the thoracic spine increases and can lead to poor posture.
How: Dymanic or static but keep it short.  

Remember above all else: stretching should never hurt. It should feel good, and be held for 20-30 seconds while breathing deeply. I prefer to keep long pants and long sleeves on to maintain my muscle's warmth just to be sure not to pull anything. You might sweat a little more, but you have to take a shower anyway, so enjoy the extra sweat!