Should you be stretching before a workout?

Usually, when we go to the gym we see people stretching before their workouts, it’s a common practice. Whether you are stretching your hamstrings or quads for a deep squat or some pec stretching to get that new pr you have wanted to reach. The question is am I stretching actually benefiting my workouts? Am I stretching correctly? How long should I stretch for? Theirs a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to stretching?

First let’s start off with the two different types of stretches, dynamic and static.

Dynamic stretching is actively warming up the muscles and joints that are gonna be used in a workout, it mimics the workout you are about to do. For instance, doing some pushups for a bench press or arm circles for a shoulder workout or even a swim. The key is to not fatigue the muscle before the workout but to get the blood flowing in the muscle. Dynamic stretching reduces injury and can also improve performance.

Static stretching is basically the opposite. It is moving a joint as far as it can go and holding it usually between 30–60 seconds. Anyone that has stretched or done yoga knows that this exercise can be a way to relax. Static stretching is best done after a workout, it loosens your muscle which can help to leave you sore less often. This type of stretching can also be beneficial for anyone that sits at a desk for long periods of time. People that do may feel their upper back, neck, and legs become stiff. That’s because your muscles shorten over a period of time. To target, this do stretches that stretch more than one muscle group, hold the stretch longer, and perform the stretch more than once.

Photo by Ginny Rose Stewart on Unsplash

So now that we know the difference between the two different types of stretches we should implement both of these exercises before and after our workouts as this could lead to having better performances for your workouts, being sore less and it could even improve your posture.