How to Stretch & Warm-Up Properly Before Workouts

photo of lion stretching

There’s a reason why all animals stretch before they hunt!

It’s a very, very good idea to stretch before exercising. Not only will it make your workouts more enjoyable and effective, it will help to prevent injury. Pulled muscles and torn tendons are absolutely no fun at all!

The most effective pre-workout routines involve a good warm-up followed by some light stretching. This will get the blood flowing, increase your core body temperature, and prepare your muscle tissue for more intense exercise — all good things for safe, injury-free workouts!

Here are a few simple, proven tips for preparing your body for a strenuous workout:

1. Do a light warm-up for 5-10 minutes. Walk briskly, jog, bike, jump rope… even old-fashioned jumping jacks make great warm-up exercises.

2. Stretch every major muscle group thoroughly — especially the ones you’re about to work. Try to hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds. DO NOT overstretch — you should never feel sharp pain in your muscles or joints! Here’s a great basic stretching routine.

3. Do some light stretching between sets to keep your muscles loose and your joints flexible.

Watch the videos below for more useful stretching tips…

More here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/stretching/sls-20076840

and here: http://web.mit.edu/tkd/stretch/stretching_1.html

 

 

 

Photo by tambako