Ben: Should you stretch before you workout? I’ve heard different answers.
Megan: Hey Ben, Let’s say you just got off work sitting at a desk for at least 6 hours. You walk into the gym stiff from sitting down and the muscles aren’t warmed up or prepared for movement. Blow flow and circulating the blood needs to take place to prepare the body for exercise. Static stretching unprepared muscles can cause injury by trying to elongate (lengthen to stretch) parts of the body that aren’t ready for this range of motion. Let’s say you bend down to reach for your toes to stretch the hamstrings. Those hamstrings are not warmed up and trying to lengthen them can result in an injury by pulling them when they don’t want to do this yet. It is best to perform an active warm up maybe with dynamic stretching such as leg swings instead of standing still and stretching. Hop on the elliptical for 10 min then you can static stretch. Foam rolling can be done before workouts because the motion increases blood flow. It isn’t wrong to stretch before you do your actual workout, but you need to warm up prior to asking cold muscles to wake up and go, go, go.
Megan Johnson McCulloughEvery BODY’s Fit – (760)201-6784