You work out, you grab your stuff and walk out… or you’re at home, you do quick cardio or light weights, then you run to the bathroom and hit the shower.
Normal? Yes. Good? No, well, not as good as it should be. Why? Because once again, you did not stretch.
I know I know, there’s rarely time to stretch, unless you’re at the park and it’s the weekend.
Take 2 to 5 minutes to do this especially after an intense weight training session. It will ease or reduce muscle soreness, and help it recuperate which is what burns fat! The recuperation of the muscle revs up your metabolism which burns fat. The muscles recover quicker and stretching helps the muscle be in better condition for your next workout.
Also, know which kinds of stretching is best for your fitness level, your sport or activity, and inclusive of any injury or health issue. There are TWO BASIC TYPES OF STRETCHING:
Dynamic AND Static.
The safest for most people is static stretching- that is holding a position for 5 to 10 seconds.
Dynamic stretching is moving quickly through positions.
What you SHOULD NEVER DO is bouncy bouncy bouncy bounce in a stretch. That is old school ‘70s style and it can pull a muscle or cause a slight tear (greater than the normal tiny tears you got through resistance/weight lifting).
Most recent studies show that it’s best to hold the longer stretches after you workout unless you’re extremely tight in one particular area. You can do dynamic stretches that focus on quick movements to quickly raise your body temperature and heart rate to get ready for a run or other types of fast-twitch exercises or long runs. After your workout hold each stretch for 25-30 seconds before releasing.
You’ll also benefit from foam rolling after your workout. This will help increase circulation and lower your heart rate slowly instead of bolting out of the gym immediately after your last set.
(one good study to read is published in the Medicine and Science Journal in Sports and Exercise)
Also, it’s good for you to stay in a group class for the last stretches. It’s not only polite, there’s a reason for it!