Stretching is just as important as your main workout routine. Consider it a starter to your mains; a yin to your yang; a body to your soul. You may not drop the pounds by simply stretching, but it is the foundation of an injury-free workout that will help you keep up with your training sessions for a long time to come.
In fact, the American College of Sports Medicines (ACM) includes flexibility training as a recommendation for staying fit. We give you more reasons to go the whole stretch when you exercise:
Plus 1: Any kind of exercise, including aerobic or strength training, requires muscles that work smoothly. Stretching comes into play by promoting flexibility and allowing your muscles and joints to move through their full range of motion.
Plus 2: Skipping the warm-up session and jumping directly to vigorous movements will jolt your body into stress mode, as it is unprepared for the high level of activity. The ideal thing is to do stretches that mimic parts of your workout exercises, to condition your body before you engage in an intense routine. It increases the blood flow and the heart rate without putting too much pressure on your body.
Plus 3: Stretching also helps minimize injury to the muscles, ligaments and tendons during your workout sessions by improving your sense of balance and bounce-back motion.
Plus 4: Whether it’s simple stretching or meticulous yoga poses, both of them help your muscles relax, thus relieving stress and anxiety.
Plus 5: Stretching is not just a great way to start a workout, but to end one too. Your muscles and joints loosen up after exercise, and stretching will help relax any soreness or muscle pull you may be experiencing.
So, incorporate these simple stretching exercises into your daily routine. However, if you feel like a certain set of muscles need some extra care, ask your trainer or coach to assist you.