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5 Tips for Stretching Exercises Before and After a Workout

Physical therapist helps patient with stretching exercises for hip pain after a workout

At Family Integrative Medicine, we help patients recover from a wide range of skeletomuscular conditions and injuries, including those sustained through athletic pursuits and strenuous physical activity. Even the simple act of working out can lead to minor sprains, tears and aches. That’s why our expert team at Family Integrative Medicine often reminds our patients about the importance of stretching before a workout, as well as after heavy-duty workout sessions.

Why is stretching before a workout so important? Just like you would warm up your car on a cold morning before driving to work, it is important to warm up your stiff muscles before putting them through a workout. Engaging in a full body stretch increases vital blood flow to the muscles, improving joint mobility. In particular, stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps and erector spinae increases your chances of a healthy and efficient workout. Warming up the body in this way will also optimize your workout – so it’s win-win.

Similarly, stretching after a workout is critical, too. After an intense workout, your muscles will be sore, and contracted or tightened. Stretching exercises will lengthen and relax your tightened muscles. This will also decrease the amount of potential lactic acid build-up that can occur with an intense, muscle-strengthening workout. For example, after an upper back and shoulder workout, it is recommended to stretch the neck by performing a doorway stretch or even a yoga pose such as the downward dog.

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Stretching Exercises
Things to remember to do to get the most out of your stretch:
1. Stay hydrated! Your body needs water to function properly.
2. Stretch your body consistently. For example, start your day with stretching exercises that last 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Never push your body past its limits. If you feel pain, stop the workout.
4. If you are worried about a specific stretch, ask a professional to guide you.
5. Always push yourself to stretch before and after working out.

As annoying as it may seem to do stretching exercises before and after your workout, it is one of the best ways to protect your joint mobility and prevent excess muscle soreness. And remember, it is always best to focus your stretching exercise on the muscle groups that you worked out.

About Family Integrative Medicine in Central Florida
As a leader in person-centered care, Family Integrative Medicine serves families, elder adults, sports athletes and veterans in Central Florida who want to pursue faster and more effective healing for a variety of chronic conditions.

Schedule your consultation so that we can support your healthcare needs and improve your quality of life, starting today!

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