Many people who are new to working out are unaware of the importance of stretching both before and after your workout. When they get to the gym, they will head straight to the weight rack, then go home and wonder why their muscles can barely move the next day. Stretching is an integral part of working out, yet even some seasoned fitness enthusiasts skip it. In this blog, we will go over why it is important to stretch, as well as some yoga poses that can help you both before and after your workout.
Why is Stretching Before and After Your Workout Important?
When you stretch before you workout, it makes your muscles more pliable, which reduces your chances of injury. Whatever muscle groups you will be using in your workout, whether you are doing lower body, upper body, or core, it’s in your best interest to make sure they are stretched and ready to go.
Additionally, it’s important to stretch after you workout as well. This ensures that your muscles, which have been contracted during your workout, stretch back to normal. This can help prevent muscle soreness, so if you are planning on hitting the gym multiple days in a row, it is essential that you stretch after your workout. If you are looking to incorporate more stretching into your workout, one great way to do so is yoga.
How To Incorporate Yoga Into Your Workout
Prime your muscles before your workout with yoga. Below, we will cover a few poses that are good to perform before and after you use one of two of our most popular pieces of exercise equipment: the treadmill and the elliptical. Once you have finished your workout, you can gently ease into your post-workout yoga routine. Take about five minutes for both warm up and recovery.
Running on the treadmill is easier on your joints than running outside. However, that doesn’t mean that you are completely protected from injury on the treadmill. Often times, people will overstride on the treadmill, which throws them off balance. Stretching beforehand helps by reducing tension in your lower back and hamstrings.
Pre-Workout Pose: Lying Big Toe
Lie on your back and lift your right leg up to a 90-degree angle. Then, grab your right big toe with your right hand and pull it closer to your body, keeping your left leg on the floor. If you can’t reach your big toe, you can also use a yoga strap or a towel. If you find your back rounding, keep it straight and bend your left knee and keep your foot on the ground. Repeat on the left side. This will stretch your back and hamstrings to prepare them for the treadmill.
Post-Workout Pose: Half Hero
You can avoid thigh cramps by doing his pose after you hit the treadmill. On all fours, face away away from a wall, lightly touching it with your toes. Bend your knee back and place your shin on the wall behind you. Then, lift your torso. You will feel this stretch in your quad. This is a very intense stretch, so be slow and gentle getting in and out of it. Then, repeat on your other side.
Ellipticals provide a fantastic cardio workout while being gentle on your knees. However, they can also add tension to your body, particular in your shoulders and lower back, which means stretching before and after is key.
Pre-Workout Pose: Reclined Twist
You can get your back and glutes ready for the elliptical with a reclined twist. Lie down on your back and cross one thigh over the other, allowing the knees to naturally fall to one side. Hold and breathe as you feel the stretch in your back, then return to center and repeat on your other side.
Post-Workout Pose: Cross-Legged Stretch
Sit cross-legged on the floor and put your hands out in front of you. Then, lift your hips. Walk your hands out as far as you can without rounding out your back. Make sure to breathe deeply so you can get the most out of this stretch. This will release your lower back and reduce tension.
When you are in the market for fitness equipment, shop Fitness Specialist. We offer ellipticals, treadmills, and a variety of other types of fitness equipment in Odessa.