Stretching is an important component of any workout routine but often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. We get it, stretching can sometimes feel less than exciting when you’d rather be doing high-intensity workouts, running or simply getting on with your day. But stretching deserves to be part of your everyday routine and most importantly, should always be a part of your warm-up and cool-down exercises.
At Grans MMA and Boxing Gym, our personal trainers, boxing coaches and fitness instructors often hear our clients ask, when is the best time to stretch? Stretching can be done at any time of day and can be combined with other physical activities or done as a stand-alone exercise. Most often, our clients want to know whether they should be stretching before or after a workout. In this article, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about when you should stretch. Don’t forget that stretching is always a health-promoting choice and is something you could consider adding to your wellness routine daily.
Should I Stretch Before or After Lifting Weights?
If you enjoy weight training and lifting weights, you’re going to want to ensure you are stretching regularly. Though there is a benefit to doing a warmup that includes dynamic stretching, you’re going to want to save deeper static stretching for after your workout. By warming up adequately and stretching after lifting weights you can work to reduce your chance of injury but also speed up your muscle recovery. For more information on how stretching can improve muscle recovery see our previous article, Does Stretching Help Muscle Recovery?
Should You Stretch Before Walking on a Treadmill?
Walking may not be a high-intensity activity, but it is an important health-promoting exercise that everyone should lean into. Though most people wouldn’t consider stretching before walking for short periods of time, you may want to consider adding a light dynamic stretch into the mix before heading out on a long walk or walking on the treadmill. Whether you are taking a leisurely walk or are doing more high-intensity walking, always finish off your walk with a cool down that includes stretching. Walking uses a lot of muscles, and you’ll want to allow yourself an adequate stretch after completing a walking exercise.
Should I Stretch After Running?
Any runner will tell you that a good, deep stretch after a run is essential. Not only will stretching after a run help relax your body, but it will also help to prevent injuries too. Running can be very tough on a body and stretching is one of the tools you have to help your body recovery and ensure you can be ready for your next run. You’ll want to ensure you focus on more than just your legs when it comes time to stretch as running involves your core and upper body too. We offer some tips on stretching your hamstrings after a run in our previous article, How to Stretch Your Hamstrings.