Stretching before your workout is just as important to your fitness routine as the workout itself. Stretching helps to prepare your muscles for movement and lengthens them for improved mobility and range of motion. There are two types of stretching, dynamic and static, and each can be used to enhance your workout in different ways.
Static stretching is what most people think of when they hear the word “stretching.” Static stretching refers to the act of stretching your muscles to a comfortable limit and then holding the position for twenty to thirty seconds. A common example of this would be reaching for your toes or interlocking your fingers and pressing outward with your arms.
Dynamic stretching prepares your body for movement by “warming up” the muscles through action and exercises. There is no holding and counting in dynamic stretching; rather, you go through a range of motions while remaining active to prepare your body to move properly during your workout. Examples of dynamic stretching include rotating your wrists and ankles, performing shoulder circles, or swinging your arms and legs.
Which is Better?
Both static and dynamic stretching are important for overall fitness, but recent studies have suggested that dynamic stretching may be more effective than static stretching at warming up your muscles and preventing injury before a workout. Static stretching helps to elongate the muscles and improve range of motion, and is best used in a post-workout setting to cool down your body after activity; this helps to create a longer, leaner body that is not hunched over or unable to perform certain movements.
Make the most of your workout today with a membership at Planet Fitness Austin. At our convenient Riverside and Oak Hill locations, Planet Fitness provides a comfortable, friendly place to exercise where all members can feel accepted and respected. Call us today at (512) 282-0003 for more information.