Stretch! When the end is finally in sight and the time is up for today’s workout, too few of us top off the hard work with a few runners’ lunges, shoulder stretches, and heel drops. These simple stretches sadly are often forgotten, who really can spare those 5 minutes anyways? Correct answer: everyone! These seemingly minor muscle contractions may save you from painful injuries.
There are two types of stretching, with two optimal times for each: dynamic stretching pre-exercise and static stretches during those final few minutes. Dynamic stretches prepare your muscles for exercise and the more intense activity to come whereas static stretches involve no movement and work to relax muscles after exercise. Coupling both styles of stretching with your workout routine will help reduce muscle fatigue, cramping, and soreness so your muscles will stay strong and healthy, you’ll feel the difference!