From increasing blood flow to decreasing muscle soreness, stretching offers many benefits. If you’re starting a new fitness plan, you may wonder if it’s better to stretch before or after a workout. While there are different thoughts and options, you’ll find that both can offer benefits.
Whether you’ll be doing cardio or hitting the weights, taking the time to stretch is important. Flexibility training helps:
Stretching before you exercise can get you into the zone and gradually prepare for a more intense workout. Doing dynamic stretches, like walking lunges, prepares your body for exercises involving agility or cardiovascular fitness. Keep in mind that you don’t want to excessively stretch cold muscles because it can lead to injury.
After you’re done working out, your muscles will be warmed up. This makes it the perfect time to stretch them out to increase your flexibility. Along with enhancing your range of motion and decreasing soreness, you’ll clear away metabolic waste products.
Deciding if you should stretch before or after working out depends on your personal preference and what kind of workout you’ll be doing.
If you’ll be doing a lot of weightlifting during your session, it’s best to wait and stretch after. When you do resistance training like barbell squats, hip thrusts or bench presses, you are shortening your muscle fibers. If you stretch out your muscles too much beforehand, you risk pulling a muscle while performing your reps.
If you’ll be doing cardio training, you’ll find it beneficial to stretch before you get started. Spending a few minutes stretching out your muscles can help your body warm up and get your muscles loose, making it easier to experience a greater range of motion.
At 5 Bridges Health & Fitness, our team of certified personal trainers can help you launch your health and fitness transformation. No matter your fitness goals or needs, we’ll work with you to determine the best plan.