Pop quiz: Should you always stretch before a workout? If your answer was “stretch,” you’re half right. You should never start exercising without stretching, because “muscles need to be warmed up in order to increase your heart rate, which translates to increased blood flow, and therefore oxygen, to the muscles,” explains Rebecca Kennedy, an AFAA- and NASM-certified trainer and the founder of A.C.C.E.S.S., an active recovery fitness class. “And you want more oxygen in your muscle cells to assist in the stress you’re about to place on them.” But the type of stretching you do matters, a lot.
Dynamic stretching, or moving stretches, should be your go-to before a workout. As far as static stretching goes (a.k.a. holding a position for 30 seconds or longer), you’d be better off skipping that warm-up, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. “Static stretching prior to a workout reduces muscle strength, decreases muscle power, and impairs explosive muscle performance,” says physical therapist Christina Ciccione, C.S.C.S., the clinic director at Professional Physical Therapy. “Static stretching can ultimately damage your muscles or tendons when performed before the muscles are adequately warmed up.”
The five positions below are the most commonly misused stretches pre-workout, according to Kennedy. Nix them from your routine and warm up instead for five to 10 minutes with dynamic stretches, light aerobic work, and activation exercises—you can always go for the static stretches post-workout!
Original Article : 5 Stretches You Should Never Do Before Your Workout
By: ASHLEY MATEO