The Importance of Stretching

*this post is sponsored by fabletics. all thoughts and opinions are my own*

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Just a friendly reminder that I haven’t worked out in, get this, two weeks. I was on vacay two weeks ago and I obviously wasn’t going to work out then, and I couldn’t get my butt into action this past week. I didn’t think it would be fitting to share a few of my workout routines since 1) I haven’t tried any new ones anddd 2) I haven’t worked out in general (please see above). However! I have been stretching a lot, every day for about 20 minutes, and doing some yoga. I can finally do a head stand (!!) and the crow, I’m mega proud even though it’s not that cool. Anyway, I thought I’d go over a few of the benefits of stretching since it’s SO important to do. Not only after a workout but before, too (so many people forget about stretching before a work out).


When you work out, lactic acid builds up in your muscles. This often leads to muscle soreness and fatigue (truth). Stretching after a workout helps to reduce muscle fatigue. When you stretch after a workout, your muscles are warm and you benefit from increased blood circulation.

-Fit Day

I’m sure you guys have noticed a huge difference when you don’t stretch after a workout. I especially have sore muscles when I wake up the next day if I don’t stretch (or stretch for a small amount and it was a vigorous workout). There are different types of stretches that you can apply b/a a workout: static (stretching in between workouts), dynamic (moving in repeated actions), passive (you would use equipment for passives stretching, such as a weight), and active (contracting the muscle in opposition to the one being stretched). The most popular are static and dynamic stretches, though!

:: Perks of stretching before a workout ::

Increases the flow of oxygen – The bloodstream to your muscles increases because of the flow of oxygen. When you don’t receive enough oxygen in your muscles, you can experience tightness and/or tension.

Longer workouts – Because your muscles aren’t tight from your pre-workout, they won’t tire as easily. The pre-stretching helps loosen your muscles and tendons giving you relief from muscle fatigue. Makes sense, right?

Injury Prevention – If you are training for a run (or many other sports), pre-stretching and a warm-up are both very important to prevent injury. After reading a few articles, it was 50/50 if stretching really did prevent injury. Some said yes, others so it did but only if a warm-up was accompanying it. Thoughts?

:: Perks of stretching after a workout ::

Increases flexibility – After a workout, I tend to incorporate yoga into my stretching (like my headstands and crow pose). Flexibility is really important in general in fitness, but it also helps alleviate muscle tension. Plus, it stretches out your muscles that you just used that may be sore from the workout.

Cools body down – After a hard workout, your heart rate increases. Immediately stopping after a workout isn’t a good idea, so calm your heart rate down but some simple stretching moves. It also helps imporve circulation (when cooling down!).

Reduces cramping – Nobody likes to have cramped muscles. One of the worsts! If you don’t drink enough water before/during/after a workout, you can experience major muscle cramps. Regulary stretching your muscles (esepcially if they’re sore from a previous workout) and drinking water will help you out with your cramps!

:: Best Stretching Routines ::

This one for before the workout is only 5 minutes!

Another quick stretch, this video is 10 minutes and a post-workout stretch guide 🙂

I use this one on a daily basis, definitely one of my favorites.

I’ll combine the stretches in the BBG and apply those, as well. Takes about 15 minutes for me to go through just those stretches!

What is your favorite stretch? I want to know in the comments!

Comments

  • The Spirited Sloth

    I really needed this reminder right now, so thank you. I love stretching, yoga, anything that makes me feel loose and limber. But it’s soooo easy to fall out of practice, especially since I’ve been traveling so much. I’ll be getting back on my yoga mat tonight.

    • Lydia
      The Spirited Sloth

      You’re welcome! I agree, stretching and yoga makes me feel so loose. Hope last nights yoga went well!

  • katriza

    Ok, I’m so guilty of not stretching every day, especially before AND AFTER my workout! So glad I ran into this so that I could be more mindful of doing them!

  • Jessi Joachim

    I need to get better about this. I used to stretch every morning, but lately I haven’t been and I can feel the difference.

  • Marcie

    Stretching is so important. I stretch even when I don’t work out. It makes my body feel so much better and I sleep more soundly.

  • Angela Tolsma

    I am currently working on crow pose! Can’t wait to hit it well! Stretching is so important. Though yoga is my main source of workouts, it’s good to push yourself in all directions. My favorite stretch is frog, though I don’t know if that counts!

  • Seattle Travel Blogger

    My husband tells me about another stretching technique involving rotation of your limbs around your joints to warm up.
    I think your picture in the yoga pose looks awesome!
    Thanks for these helpful tips; I will try these out.

  • Charlotte

    I am all for stretching! I do a lot of impact sports and if I regularly don’t stretch I get injured, it really is that simple, I still can’t believe that some people don’t take it seriously!

  • Nicola Bromley

    Stretching is so important and really finishes a workout for me…I don’t feel like I’ve properly finished until I’ve stretched. Unfortunately I have not worked out for so long I’ve forgotten what it feels like…I need to make it a priority!

  • Theresa

    Stretching is a great way to keep your body limber, even in between workouts. I don’t always schedule in time at the gym, but stretching helps a lot!

  • Heather

    Your post was so timely for me. I am terrible with stretching – not when I’m working out, but just in general. Thanks for the inspiration. My husband and I were JUST talking about this tonight.

  • Tereza

    So important! I KNOW I need to stretch more but I always forget – its just so tempting to just put your trainers on and run out of the house! x

  • Nikki Arnold

    I always make sure to stretch after my workouts. I also try to stretch every day before bed because it makes me feel so much better after a long day of sitting.

  • Heather

    It is so important to stretch. I was doing boot camp workouts and would notice a major difference if I left before we finished our stretching exercises.

  • Jessica

    I love that you point out stretching AFTER a workout. People tend to do it before when they should be doing it when they are done.

  • Amber Nelson

    Cramped muscles are definitely the best! I know that I need to stretch better, especially after a long run!

  • Blythe Alpern

    I admit it, I hate stretching even though I know the benefits. I have a few workout DVDs that have better stretching routines that others. I do find that moving my neck, arms and shoulders helps me the most.

  • Dawn McAlexander

    I don’t work out at all, but I enjoy a good stretch as much as anybody. It really helps loosen your body up and makes you feel better.

  • Amanda Love

    Stretching is really nice, you’re going to feel so much better afterwards and it gives you a sense of energy as well. I think it’s important to do stretching exercises especially if you workout often.

  • Irina

    I’m so not good at stretching. I regret it after each workout because at times I hurt my back. The older I get the more I realize how important it is for me to stretch.