If you are a professional athlete, being ready for your next event, match, or game is critical. And, staying injury free can mean serious business for large contracts and huge bonuses.
But, what if you're just a normal Joe, looking to stay fit, stay active, and stay healthy. Getting injured can derail your fitness plans, motivation, and confidence -- which is why staying injury free and recovering quicker is imperative with goal oriented individuals.
The key to staying injury free and quickly getting your muscles to recover is the one thing we all neglect.
How Does Stretching Help Muscle Recovery?
How Does Stretching Prevent Injuries?
When Should I Stretch?
The best time to stretch is immediately after a tough workout, where your muscles are relaxed and hot. Most injuries occur when muscles are cold and you do some sort of challenging or difficult exercise that pulls the muscle and essentially tear the fiber.
So, when you're done working out, whether it's a leg day or upper body day, stretching is important to keep those muscles from tightening up and potentially tearing to cause yet another injury.
How Long Should I Stretch?
You should hold each stretch for approximately 30 to 45 seconds, if not longer for tight areas. And, you should stretch the same areas a couple of times, changing the depth of your stretch. Basically increasing or going deeper on a stretch.
Once you've stretched both your upper and lower body for about 30 to 45 seconds each position, you should be good to go the next day for another solid workout.
Usually stretching 5 to 7 minutes total after a 35 to 50 minute workout should be enough. But, if you train longer, anything over 60 minutes, then you'll want to up your stretching even more.
At Summit Fit Dojo, Small Group Personal Training clients are taken through a normal stretching routine after EVERY workout, but we still encourage clients to continue to stretch a few more minutes after class, in case they have some tighter areas.