Resistance training is great, but adding a stretch workout afterward will give you much better results. It is a common myth that stretching out before a workout will keep you from hurting yourself, but it turns out that the opposite is true.
Researchers from the University of Hawaii-Moana studied over a thousand marathon runners. They discovered that stretching before working out resulted in a greater risk of being injured. It was determined that there was a 33% higher risk of getting hurt if the runners stretched before running than those that didn’t stretch.
Stretching is a good thing, just not before a workout; it relaxes the muscles and relieves joint tension and helps the muscles to heal themselves. After stretching, muscles are stretched out and this can be very dangerous. Muscles need to contract over and over during exercise, and when they are stretched out they need to work much harder to contract effectively.
Warm up your body by moving, not stretching before strenuous exercise, then do the stretches after you are done. This will help the muscles recover from the activity and help prevent soreness or stiffness. This is definitely the way to go, you will notice a difference after trying it just once. Another benefit is that you will gain more strength this way than if you stretch beforehand. You can increase strength gains by as much as ten percent!
Here’s how this works: the muscles have to contract during exercise. For quite awhile after you contract the muscles, they stay in that position instead of lengthening back out. The muscles don’t get a chance to begin the recovery process until they are brought back to normal resting length. By stretching out after a workout, the muscles get to recover much faster. You will get great results from this system if you lift weights or do resistance training.
Static and Dynamic are the two types of stretches. Static stretching is the best to boost muscle recovery after an intense workout and increase strength. You are probably familiar with methods of static stretching. Just get into a position where the muscle is lengthened and hold it for about 30 seconds. Be sure to take nice deep breaths and relax, stretching feels good!