Benefits of Stretching Exercises
exercises are a critical part of any exercise
Stretching can help lengthen and prepare the muscles
for exercise or sports.
There are debates as to whether or
not stretching before an exercise routine does in fact reduce the risk
There are also conflicts of how to stretch properly and how long a
person should stretch.
Even though these items are debated,
it is general knowledge and agreed upon by the experts that there are
benefits to performing stretching exercises.
Keep reading to learn about all the benefits of stretching before your
out the different fitness videos on this site for stretching out your
body. The lower body stretches is a series of seven stretches for the
glutes, hamstrings, hips and legs. Use the links below to do a specific
stretch or visit the lower body stretches
page to start from the beginning.
Streching for Your Health
After a long workout of jogging on the treadmill or completing your
circuit training routine, don’t dismiss the need to stretch out those
The benefits of stretching go beyond just being part
of a complete exercise routine and stretching the muscles.
Stretching increases your flexibility and helps improve daily
activities and tasks.
Simple things like tying your shoes,
bending down to pick up your child or sprinting to catch a bus are
easier with better flexibility.
Range of Motion
Improved range of motion in your joints is just another benefit of
With a good range of motion you are
better balanced and reduce risk of falling and injury from these
This is especially important as you grow older.
Stress can cause many medical complications and
Finding ways to relieve stress can help with weight loss and peace of
Stretching is a great way to help relieve stress and
helps to relax tense muscles that are usually accompanied with stress.
Stretching exercises increases the blood flow to your
muscles. This increase in blood flow and improved circulation
can reduce the time needed to heal injuries to your muscles.
Stretching helps to keep your muscles loose and prevents tightening of
the muscles. This in turn helps to maintain a proper posture
and reduces aches and pains. Stretching is especially
beneficial in reducing lower back pain and injury.
When and How to Stretch
To get the benefits of stretching exercises you want to make sure you
do them correctly and do them at the right times. Here are
some basics of stretching.
up your Muscles
You should never stretch when your muscles have not yet been properly
warmed up. Before doing your stretching exercises warm up for
5 to 10 minutes by lightly jogging or marching in place moving your
legs and arms.
Think of your muscles like a cold rubber band. When you
stretch the rubber band when it is cold the rubber band has less give
when trying to stretch it to the full length.
If you stretch
a cold rubber band to its full length it will more than likely snap and
tear. The same goes for cold muscles. When the
muscles are cold there is less give and so it you over stretch a cold
muscle you risk injury.
Before Exercise or Sports
doing stretching exercises before a workout is widely debated,
it is believed that stretching before certain activities can help
It also gives you a wider range of motion during the
activity. As a general rule, you should stretch before an
aerobic exercise and active sports.
performing your stretching routine, target all the major muscles
like your hips, thighs, calves, back, shoulders, arms and
By stretching these major muscles you are properly
getting them ready for your exercise routine or your every day
activities. You should also target stretch specific muscles
you plan on using during your workout or the activities you perform
When stretching you want to hold the stretch for a minimum of 30
seconds and up to 60 seconds for those really tight muscles.
It takes time to safely lengthen the tissues and muscles, so be sure to
hold the stretch for the maximum benefit of your stretching
Count slowly or watch the second hand to make sure
you are holding the stretch for the right amount of time. Additionally,
don’t bounce during your stretch. You want to
simply hold the stretch in place and deepen the hold it need be to
really loosen the muscles.
Bouncing the stretch can create
small tears in the muscle. These tears can leave scar tissue
during the healing process and this scar tissue causes the muscle to
tighten even further.
is not the Goal
You don’t have to “feel the pain” to be effective at
stretching. You want to feel the tension while you stretch
but not the pain. If you feel pain then loosen the stretch a
bit until it is tense but not painful. Remember to breathe
while you do your stretches and relax.
Try these lower
and upper body stretches
For a full list of stretching exercises on this site visit the free
fitness videos page
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Benefits of Warming up and Cooling Down
Before and after exercising you should always warm up, stretch, cool down and
stretch again to keep your muscles flexible and prevent injury.
Exercise Calorie Calculator
Find out how many calories you burn from your workouts. This free
online tool has different types of exercises plus many fun activities
to choose from.
What is fact or fiction when it comes to exercising? Read this article
to find out.