Stretching after a workout can help you work on your flexibility and mobility without sacrificing your strength. That’s why no matter what training you’re doing, you should take some time for stretching exercises. However, how to get results from stretching depends more on how you stretch, rather than how often you do it.
Dynamic stretching can be more effective than static poses. It can also help reduce soreness after a workout. This type of stretching can also help improve your overall flexibility and mobility.
These are just a few of the many benefits dynamic stretching can bring to your body and training.
Stretching Benefits for Your Body
One of the biggest benefits of stretching is improving your flexibility and mobility. Both play a huge role in your overall health and fitness. That being said, there are plenty of other benefits stretching can bring you.
Daily stretching can help you move your muscles easier without pain. This can be incredibly beneficial once you’ve reached old age. Stretching regularly can reduce the immobility and pain seen in seniors who have difficulty moving their joints.
Decreasing Risk of Injury
Stretching can also improve your range of motion. Sometimes, moving quickly and in a way that you’re not used to can lead to injury and muscle damage. With regular stretching, you reduce this risk of injury because your muscles will no longer feel so constrained.
Stretches that focus on your lower back can make it easier to correct your posture. You won’t feel such pressure when standing up straight after a few good sessions of stretching.
Relieving Post-Workout Soreness
Stretching can reduce the usual soreness you can feel after a workout. This muscle pain is called DOMS, or delayed-onset muscle soreness and it can happen as your body goes to work on the process of repairing the muscle fibers torn during exercise. Including some stretching into your warm-ups can reduce the pain and tightness in your muscles when you’re sore.
Healing or Preventing Back Pain
When you don’t stretch, your muscles become tight and knotted. This is a very common reason for back pain. Regular stretching can loosen those muscles and strengthen them which can heal your back pain and prevent it from coming back.
Stress is caused by lots of reasons, one of them being tensed muscles. You can easily relieve tensed muscles with stretching in areas that tend to hold the stress. These can be areas such as your shoulders and neck. A good regular stretch can release those tensions and relax those muscles.
Giving You More Energy
When you stretch you make it easier to move your muscles and joints. This causes you to feel less tired when walking or doing daily activities. This may allow you to feel more active and energized and keep you up on your feet and moving around more throughout the day.
Helping You Feel Relaxed
When you stretch, your body relaxes. This helps ease your mind and releases tension. It can also help you reduce headaches brought on by stress.
Increases Blood Circulation
Stretching can help improve blood flow into your muscles when you do it regularly. This can help relieve sore muscles quicker as opposed to no stretching at all.
Preparing Your Body for Workouts
When you add dynamic stretching to your pre-workout routine, this can help you warm-up and get your body ready to workout. Dynamic stretches are similar to most warm-ups and offer you both a stretch and workout before your exercise routine.
How Long Should You Hold a Dynamic Stretch?
How long you hold each dynamic stretch will depend on which type of stretch you are doing. There are many dynamic stretches and each is typically held for only a few seconds. This is because a dynamic stretch is an active movement where you are stretching and exercising at the same time.
Below is a list of some dynamic stretching movements to help you get a better idea of how long you should hold a dynamic stretch:
- Jumping Jacks
- High Knees
- Leg Swing
- Lunge Walk
- Straight Leg Kick
- Power Skip
- Backpedal Jog
- Hamstring Sweep
- Butt Kicks
As you can see from the common dynamic stretches listed above, you only need to do some movements like kicks, swings and jumping jacks for just a few seconds with each repetition. Dynamic stretches are just quick movements that stretch your body while working on your heart, lungs, and muscles at the same time.
Does Stretching Burn Fat?
While stretching can help you burn fat, you’ll burn very little if all you’re doing is stretching. That being said, if you’re a beginner, starting out by stretching regularly can be enough to create a daily calorie deficit and help you move increasingly closer to your ultimate weight-loss goals.
Think of stretching as a complement to your workout routine. A complement that can help you be more active and can even change your lifestyle so that you feel more energized which motivates you to move more throughout the day. By stretching every time you exercise you’ll reduce the chances of being injured and increase your range of motion.
As your workouts increase in difficulty, you’ll be increasing the demands on your body. By stretching and improving your flexibility, range of motion, and staying active, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in burning fat and losing weight.
How Long Does it Take to See Results from Stretching?
You should be able to feel results in as little as 2 weeks with regular stretching. However, stretching for 4 to 6 weeks will also help you see some results.
After 2 weeks you may feel less sore when exercising. This means your body has become more flexible than when you started stretching. Between 4 to 6 weeks you may be able to see results in improved flexibility such as, touching your toes or being close to achieving the splits.
The results from stretching are endless and so beneficial to your body and health. Try not to focus on your goal results of stretching. Instead, add stretching into your daily routine and make it a lifestyle. This way you’ll continue seeing results and will feel better overall.