During this time of year many people are looking to add an exercise routine to their lifestyle, one thing that has been known to come with exercise is stretching, however most people either do not stretch or they incorporate it into their routines in the wrong way. Here are some of the stretching routine myths that you should ignore to receive the results you are in search of.
One of the biggest problems that people have with stretching is not knowing when they need to incorporate it into their program for it to be effective. The following information should give you a great informational foundation to build your results off of.
Myth #1: Stretch before Exercise
If you think back all the way to grade school, you probably have come across a gym teacher who has asked you to stretch before exercise. This is an incorrect practice that many people take part in.
Stretching before exercise will not increase your performance during your workout; in fact, it could make you more prone to injury. Instead of stretching before your workout, you should incorporate a warm-up of either brisk walking or cycling. This will get the blood circulating through the muscles faster and leave you at less of a risk of injury.
Myth #2: Cool Down before You Stretch
Many people believe that they need to allow their body to cool down and rest after their workout before they incorporate stretching into their routine. This is a common misconception. The best time to stretch the muscles you have just worked are directly after your workout. The muscles are warm and respond better to the stretching at this point, not to mention that you are less likely to injure yourself at this time. Your stretching routine should push the muscles beyond the ROM (range of motion) in which your exercises where performed.
Myth #3: Don't Incorporate Stretching into your Routine as a Standalone Exercise
Stretching should always be performed after your last exercise; it is not meant to replace a exercise nor is it meant to be implemented in between sets, as you will still tear down cells before you place them under the stress of resistance training. This in turn could open you up to injuries.
As stated above in myth two, the best time to work stretching into your routine is after your workout. By doing so, your muscles are still warm from exercise and you can elevate stiffness that has occurred due to your repetitive moments. Another reason to incorporate stretching as a standalone exercise after your workout routine is because once your stretching is done, you will not be placing your muscles under any more stress, thus giving them the time they need to rebuild and repair cells that where damaged during your workout and stretch routine.