Call Us Free Trial
Join Now


Should You Stretch Before or After Working Out?

Should You Stretch Before or After Working Out?

Stretching Out

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.

Why You Should Stretch

Whether you’ll be doing cardio or hitting the weights, taking the time to stretch is important. Flexibility training helps:

  • Improve circulation: Stretching increases blood flow, helping send nutrients and oxygen to your muscles.
  • Increase your joint’s range of motion: The more flexible you are, the easier it will be for your muscles, tissue, ligaments and tendons to have a greater range of motion.
  • Reduce delayed onset muscle soreness: When you warm up and cool down properly, you’ll ease tension and tightness and prevent your muscles from getting too sore after an intense workout.
  • Prevent injuries: By lengthening your muscles and increasing flexibility in your joints, you’ll minimize the chances of injuring yourself when working out.

Stretching Before a Workout

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.

Stretching After a Workout

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.

Is It Better to Stretch Before or After a Workout?

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.

Work One-on-One With a Personal Trainer to Reach Your Fitness Goals

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.

Get started today by requesting a one-day trial or signing up for a membership.

Join Now