Should You Stretch Before or After a Workout?

March 11, 2017



I know that doing stretches before a workout is very common. I have taken many fitness classes where we would stretch before we exercised. Most of us grew up doing a round of stretches at the beginning of gym class. But holding your stretches BEFORE a workout doesn't necessarily prevent injuries. In fact, stretching before your muscles have gotten moving can actually lead to strains. No Bueno! Instead, do a five-minute to ten-minute active warm-up pre-exercise (like walking or jumping jacks) to raise blood flow.


I have also seen tons of people leave immediately after their workout without stretching. I even have taught numerous fitness classes where most of the students leave pre stretch. Super No Bueno!


So you can always achieve the perfect post-workout flexibility routine, here are some stretches to do after your workout:


Tricep Stretch

With arms overhead, hold right elbow with left hand. Gently pull elbow behind head. Repeat with left elbow.



Upper Body Stretch

While standing or sitting, interlace fingers behind back. With palms facing outward, slowly push arms back and up.



Shoulder Stretch

Gently pull right elbow across chest toward left shoulder. Repeat with left elbow.



Hamstring Stretch

Sit on floor and straighten left leg. Bend right leg so sole of foot is next to left inner thigh. Sit up tall and lean forward from hips, reaching toward left foot. Repeat with right leg.



Quad Stretch

While standing, hold left foot with right hand and pull heel toward center of buttocks. Repeat with right foot.

Jessica Bailey is a fitness instructor as well as an ambassador for Sparkly Soul, Fitfluential, Fit Approach, and Reebok! She somehow manages to fit in time to write for her own blog. Visit her website or you can follow her on Twitter!

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