Whether running, walking (or doing any form of exercise!), the benefits of stretching count both before and after your workout.
Stretching optimises your workout by increasing your flexibility and reducing muscle tension as well as increasing the circulation to your muscles and improving your balance and co-ordination. These benefits also lower your chance of injury. BUT…what type of stretching is most beneficial?
There are two types of stretching – static and dynamic. It’s confusing to many as to which is better especially as the best results are achieved by using a combination of both.Dynamic stretching is designed to take a muscle through a challenging and repetitive motion, stretching the muscle further with each repetition. This type of stretching is ideal prior to exercise.
Static stretching is designed to hold a position for the muscle that is minimally challenging. This relaxes and lengthens the muscle being stretched. Research shows that holding the position for 30-60 seconds will increase the flexibility in the muscle, although if done prior to activity may actually inhibit the muscles ability to fire reducing performance.
This type of stretching is beneficial following exercise.Be aware of not over-stretching before you workout.
This can have a negative impact on your sport. You should never stretch to the point of pain, a gentle steady pressure is all that is needed for correct stretching. Dynamic stretching for 5-10 minutes prior to exercising is most beneficial.As it’s the season for Fun Runs/Walks here are several beneficial stretches to improve your training and prevent injuries. (Quads, Adductor, Calf & Hamstrings stretches)
Consult one of our Physios or Exercise Physiologists for further and more specific advice.