10 Reasons to Stretch Before Exercise
Stretching should be an integral part of every person’s workout program as flexibility is one of the five most important components of fitness.
Here are our top 10 reasons to why you should be adding stretching as part of your regular training regime.
May reduce your risk of injury
The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to become injured from a slightly extensive movement. By increasing the range of motion in a joint through stretching, you may decrease the resistance on your muscles during various activities.
Increases range of motion
Stretching helps improve your range of motion which may also slow the degeneration of the joints.
Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your back in better alignment and improve your posture.
Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance
As stretching makes you more flexible, and a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body can improve your overall performance by making your movement more energy efficient.
Helps reduce or manage stress
If your muscles are well stretched, they hold less tension and can, therefore, help you feel less stressed.
Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation
It allows your muscles to relax. Habitually tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients getting to the muscles.
Prepares the body for the stress of exercise
Stretching prior to exercise allows the muscles to loosen up and become resistant to the impact they are about to undergo, thereby reducing the chance of injury.
Stretching increases blood supply to the muscles and joints which allow for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through the entire body.
Decreases the risk of low-back pain
Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.
Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains
After a hard workout, stretching the muscles will keep them loose and reduce the shortening and tightening effect that can happen after a workout, leading to post-workout aches and pains.