There are many different types of stretching, all of which have their own benefits, as well as shared benefits. We all need to include stretching as part of our daily exercise routine. The most common techniques you see around the gym are dynamic and static stretching and self-myofascial release. That sounds complicated, but it's not, and the importance of stretching is not something to be taken lightly.
Dynamic stretching is great before exercising because it's continuous movement patterns that mimic an exercise or sport, such as skipping or toe touches. It will get you warmed up and the blood flowing to help prevent injury.
Static stretching is what most people are familiar with. Sitting down and reaching for the end of your feet to get a nice stretch in your hamstrings. Remember to hold each position for about 20-30 seconds. This can be done before or after workouts, but make sure to warm up before your workouts.
Foam rolling is a self-myofacial release. Myofascial tissue connects and wraps around the muscle. Over time while training, the tissue can become stiff, and that’s the pain you will feel when applying pressure. Foam rolling after a workout is perfect. You can cool down, relax and apply pressure to the sore areas. Hold each spot for 20-30 seconds and you will feel it start to release.
Here’s some of the benefits of stretching and why you need to include it from now on:
- Increase range of motion
- Enhanced coordination
- Increase blood flow through the muscle
- Increase nutrient supply
- Decrease muscle soreness
- Speed up muscle recovery
- Stress relief
Stretching is a valuable asset to the training program. Don’t ignore it!