You may have heard thousands of times that do not skip Pre Workout Stretches. But we know that it looks tempting to jump into your workout because you already have limited time and do not want to waste it.
However, all trainers and athletes agree that stretching is an important part of the workout routine and should not be skipped. It reduces the chances of injury, warms up the muscles before an explosive movement, and improves the range of motion.
Benefits of Pre Workout Stretches
Either you are going to work out or not, stretching has many benefits. and these benefits are not limited to only physical benefits, it mentally prepares you to work out a day ahead. In fact, studies reveal that stretching a few minutes a day reduces anxiety and stress, alleviates muscle tension caused by anxiety.
Few more physical and health benefits are
- It improves blood circulation
- Helps to maintains better balance and posture
- Reduces risk of injury
- Reduce muscle tension and fatigue.
Stretching minimizes the risk of injury by warming up the muscles for those who are planning for high-impact movement like sprinting, boxing, and hurdles. Cold and stiff muscles easily get injured.
Stretching gives you flexibility and allows a better range of motion.it allows you to jump faster and higher and train yourself with better form.
Read More: What is Bungee Workout
How to Warm Up and do Pre Workout Stretches
You might know some stretches from your gym class and may start your day with it. But if you know how to warm up and stretch effectively, it makes a lot of difference in your workout. It is important to take your time and not rush into your warmup stretches.
Usually, rushing leads you to inappropriate breathing techniques and puts a strain on your muscles. You have to be careful while stretching your body because if you overstretch your body it can put painful stress on your muscles.
Getting Ready for Pre Workout Stretches:
Start with a little cardio and treadmill or cycle for five minutes to warm up your body and to raise body temperature. After you are done with it, stand on a mat and roll your head in a circle. Do some shoulder shrugs. Then do some series of rotation arms, hips, and torso. When you are done with all these things you are ready for your first stretch.
Stand on your mat and reach down slowly and go as far as you can to touch your toes.do cross your comfort point. If you have recently started the stretches in your workout routine you cannot go beyond your knees but after several repetitions, you can achieve the target. repeat this touch to your toes exercise a couple of times until flexibility comes and then involve other muscle groups including hamstrings, it band, calves, quads, and hip flexor.
You should involve all muscle groups but do not spend more than a few minutes on each of them, let us discuss how to warm-up stretches from your shoulder to legs.
Leg stretches are very important for your overall fitness and also because most of the stress is placed on your legs during exercise. Whether you run, cycle or hit the squat rack, your legs are under stress.
Of course, that dress also builds muscles but without proper warmup stretching, it is more likely to get injured. Stretching your legs also helps to prevent leg cramps. Beyond this, it makes your legs muscles more flexible and offers a wide range of motion.
Hamstring stretch reduces strain on your back muscles and also prevents pulled hamstring. Stretching your muscles before exercise prevents discomfort in your lower back which is caused by a tight hamstring. You have also experienced soreness of muscles if you lift weight or run.
However, stretching can help to prevent this. to stretch the hamstring, stand on your feet with shoulder-width apart and slowly reach your hands down to touch your toes. you should be slightly bent. You should feel slight discomfort but not pain. as you reach down and cross your knees you will feel your hamstring stretching.
Hold the stretch for a few minutes before releasing it and repeat it several times. Hurdle stretch is another common hamstring stretch. To do hurdle stretch, sit on a mat with one leg in and the other extended in front of you. Now with both hands try to touch your toes. hold this stretch for a few seconds and then repeat it with the other leg.
It Band Stretch:
It is a tendon that runs outside of your thigh from your hip to your knee.it is difficult to stretch but it is very helpful to prevent a condition known as iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). The seated rotation stretch is one of the best stretches. For this, you have to sit down on a mat with extended legs in front of you.
Now bend your left knee and cross it over your right thigh. Now rotate your body towards the left knee and see your left shoulder. You will feel the stretch. Hold this stretch for a few seconds and then switch it to the other leg.
Another effective stretch band is standing ITB stretch. It is very easy and can perform anywhere.to do this, stand up with one leg crossed behind the other leg. Bent towards the other leg that bends away from the crossed leg until you feel stretch. Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds then uncross your legs and relax.
Tight hips are the cause of extreme pain in your lower back and in your legs. Even if you’re sitting all day and not doing any workout, it causes tight hips and discomfort in your lower body because your entire body is linked with your hips. So if you are not doing workouts regularly you should stretch your hips daily. The best stretch for hips is forwards runner lunge and 90/90.
The main muscles you want to stretch are the biceps, triceps, and forearms. stretches should be the key component of your workout routine. It is difficult to target bicep stretch but it is the most important and effective arm stretch.
To do it find a wall and place a hand on it and slowly turn away from it. Adjust the position of your hand above and down the wall so that you can involve different areas of the biceps.
The best way to involve triceps is tricep shoulder stretch. where you can move your hands above the head and bend them at the elbow and move it down with your other hand.
Forearm stretching is one of the easiest things to do. All you have to do is extend one of your arms directly in front of you. Keep your arm straight, grab your finger and gently pull them back. you will feel the pressure in your arm. Hold this stretch for a few seconds up to 30 seconds and then release and repeat.
Crossbody stretch is one of the most well-known shoulder stretches. You can do it either by standing or you can remain seated. Extend your one arm out and across the opposite side of the body. Grab your extended arm with the other arm above and below the elbow and bring it near the chest.
You will feel the stretch. Hold it for a few seconds. Now you are ready for a tricep shoulder stretch. Go back to your extended arm and raise it over your head. Now bend it at the elbow and drop your forearms behind your head so that your fingers touch the space between your shoulder blade. Use your other hand to gently push your bent arm down. Hold this stretch for a few seconds and then switch your arm.
Your back is a connector to the rest of the body so if your back is in pain your whale body is in pain. There are a number of back stretches you can do but few are basic ones that target your lower back, upper back, and space between your shoulder blades. The seated spinal twist targets not only your lower back but also your hips, glutes, and IT band.
The cat-cow Pre Workout Stretch gives mobility to your spine and is also easy to do.
The most common backstretch is a backbend. For this take a mat, lay on it with the legs extended behind you, your hands should be planted on the ground below your shoulders. your face should touch the mat. Now slowly raise your body just like push-ups while your legs should be extended touching the mats.
Slowly lower your top half and repeat it several times. while doing this keep your leg muscles and glutes active. This movement not only stretches your back but also strengthens it.
Dynamic Pre Workout Stretches:
There are two types of stretching:
Static stretching is working on one muscle for 20 seconds and then it moves to the other.
Dynamic Pre Workout Stretches as the name suggests works with movement. The movement is aligned with a specific workout or with specific sports. e.g. hurdles will use dynamic stretching to slowly rotate their leg over the hurdle performing the same movement that will be used later in the race.
Dynamic stretching makes you ready by warming up for whatever exercise you are about to do. So it is the best type of stretch you can do before any workout and static stretch is best to do at the end of your workout.
The reviews about stretching are mixed whether you have to stretch before or after a workout. However, the important thing is stretching matters. stretching makes a significant difference in your mental and physical health.
Add these warm stretches to your daily routine and you will feel the difference in the output of your workout. and if you are ready to take on the next workout, try to add foam rolling to your routine to alleviate muscle soreness and to increase your blood flow