I know this isn't going to be the most exciting blog in the world but while I'm giving you FAT melting workouts to try at home, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I hadn't shown you the importance of stretching before and after exercise.
At the end of the day stretching is boring, we all hate it and most of you will probably ignore this post and carry on getting up of the couch and straight into a training session.
I was one of them too and because of this suffered with injuries most of my life and my flexibility isn't great.
Stretching is important for the following reasons:
Helps improve flexibility (increases your range of motion)
Assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (because of so much time at our computers, many of us have tight chest muscles which pulls the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with a hunched shoulder look)
Potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work before activity
Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness
Even a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) of stretching can calm the mind, provide a mental break, and give your body a chance to recharge
Classes like Yoga or Pilates offer you a chance to spend an hour releasing tension physically and mentally
Before a workout always do Dynamic stretches such as:
Jogging on the spot
Do these dynamic exercises at a low intensity. We are trying to wake up the muscles ready for a FAT burning workout so this is very important.
Static stretches are very important too but more important after the workout. I was coached at Manchester United and when I asked my Coach before a session "why don’t we stand still and stretch before we train?" he would reply "because static stretching will relax the muscle and we are looking to wake the muscles up before we exercise, when we have finished we will do static stretches because the muscles will be warm and so they can be lengthened and sent to sleep".
It all made sense to me and from that point I have used those techniques to coach my own clients in the same way.
Here are some pictures of static stretches for you all to try.
So before you all jump into your next workout remember, before DYNAMIC, after STATIC.
I'm here to help you so if you have any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org