The terms stretching and warming up are not the same – some people believe that they are more or less the same thing, but we’re here to tell you that they are not. Warming up prepares an individual, an athlete, or any sports player for their following physical activity. And having said that, all it takes to get an appropriate warm up done is a couple of minutes of exercises for the whole body (performed at a lower intensity) like jogging in place, or jumping jacks. Warming up should always come before stretching, because if you stretch muscles that aren’t warmed up can lead to you being injured.
Some small research has found out that stretching can be quite helpful, but some other people have determined that the benefits of stretching are minimal. Some people who love stretching say that it promotes several positive effects of this specific form of exercising, including improved muscular coordination, better motion of the joints, reduced level of muscle tissue tension, and stretching can help improve and increase the levels of blood circulation throughout the body.
It’s important to focus a specific spot – when you stretch, you should try to focus on the bigger muscles and joints in your body. More specifically, the ones that you will use for your following activity, regardless of its intensity. And don’t forget to stretch both sides of the body.
The forth fact says that stretching can have bad consequences, if you rush them – when you stretch make sure to do it as slow and as smooth as possible, because rushing stretching exercises can be counterproductive. You can experience additional stress on the joints, tears in the muscles, leaving you with more pain than before you started stretching.
Be careful when it comes to stretching muscles that are already strained. Exercise caution, because stretching should be avoided when a joint or a muscle is inflamed or injured.
There’s the age as an important factor of flexibility – the loss of flexibility over the years is a natural occurrence, which often comes along with a decline in posture and an increase in injury.