Stretching is the floss of the exercise world: you know yourself should do it, but how easy is it to skip? And distances after training are particularly easy to manage – you have already scheduled time for your training. When this is done, it is particularly tempting to call it a day.
However, there are some solid benefits to adding some post-workout stretches, whether you’ve run, done weight training, or done HIIT. Here you will find everything you need to know Why You should stretch after exercise, what stretches to choose, and how to do it most effectively.
The benefits of stretching after exercise
“One of the great things about stretching after a workout is the idea that you improve mobility after you̵
Stretching as a warm-up exercise should focus on dynamic movements or those that involve movement – like an inchworm, for example, instead of just touching the toes. Dynamic stretches help cool down even after your workout, Morgan says, as they bring you more money by working out multiple joints and muscles at the same time.
But static stretching also plays a role in cooling you down, as it can bring mobility benefits, says Marcia Darbouze, PT, DPT, owner of Just Move Therapy in Florida and co-host of the podcast “Disabled Girls Who Lift.” Static stretching can increase your range of motion. This is based on a review of the. Published strain types European Journal of Applied Physiology, and because your muscles are already warm from your workout, it will feel easier to achieve that good stretch, says Darbouze.
The best routes for different types of workouts
Post-workout stretches are important no matter what workout you choose: you want to get more blood into the muscles you’ve just trained to support this recovery and ward off stiffness, Morgan says.
If you think about what muscles you used in your workout, you can control your post-workout stretching process. Let’s say you just ran. Stretches that hit your hamstrings (like the inchworm), quads, and hip flexors (the lunge with rotation hits both) are important, Morgan says. You should also make sure that you stretch your big toe and calves, says Darbouze.
And yes, even with strength training, you absolutely have to stretch after training, says Darbouze – “strength athletes are usually very stiff,” she says.
After a lower body lift session, you want to meet the same lower body muscles: hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and calves. If you’ve noticed imbalances during your workout – say, you’re struggling to squat deep enough on the right side – you should pay special attention to the side you’re having trouble with, says Darbouze.
For an upper body workout, it’s important to stretch your wrists, pectoral muscles (pectoral muscles), lats (back muscles), and traps (the muscles that extend from your upper back to your neck to your shoulders), says Darbouze.
Stretching your traps is very important for people exercising because they often skip training the lower or middle part of the traps. “This can lead to tight, arrogant upper traps that upset our bodies,” she says. (A simple trap stretch would just put the ear on your shoulder.)
An important note: while you focus on areas that feeling Tightness can help control post-workout cooling. Tightness may not be the underlying problem.
“A muscle can be felt tense if it overcompensates because it lacks the strength to do something,” says Morgan. Hip flexors that feel “tight”, no matter how hard you stretch them, could actually indicate a lack of nuclear power, for example, she says. So you should make sure that you include enough strengthening exercises in your actual workout, rather than just trying to stretch your muscles afterwards.
How long you stretch
Ideally, your post-workout stretching session should take about as long as the warm-up – think 5 to 10 minutes, Morgan says.
But one important thing to remember, says Darbouze, is the following any Type of stretch after exercise is better than nothing. “You don’t have to roll off the floor for 20 minutes,” she says. “Even if you only do one thing or spend two minutes doing it, it is something.”
How long should each route be kept? If you’re just getting started, 30 seconds should be fine and up to a minute working the more you get used to it, Darbouze says.
You will probably feel uncomfortable when you stretch, but you should never feel pinching or sharp pain. “And when you stop stretching, you should stop feeling something,” says Darbouze.
“I use the green-light yellow, light red, stretched light system,” says Morgan. “With the green light you only feel the stretch and there is no pain, so you are good at stretching further. With a yellow light you feel uncomfortable in the range of 1 to 4 [on the discomfort scale]and should be careful – you can go ahead but you don’t want it to get worse. Anything 5 or higher is your red light to stop and reset. “
A 5-move post-workout stretch routine
While the best post-workout stretches you choose depend on the type of workout you’ve completed, Morgan’s following stretching routine is a great option to try after a full-body weight training session.
What you need: Just your body weight and a training mat to make the movements a little more comfortable.
Directions: Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Carry out the one-sided movements (on one side) for this time on each side.
Demoing the moves are Caitlyn Seitz (GIFs 1 and 5), a New York-based group fitness instructor and singer / songwriter; Charlee Atkins (GIFs 2 and 3), CSCS, creator of Le Sweat TV; and Teresa Hui (GIF 4), a New York native who has driven over 150 road races.