We should definitely be stretching everyday to prevent injury and maintain flexibility. But when is the best time?
As a physical therapist I’ve always told my clients to do a gentle 5 minute warm-up, do your workout, then stretch. If you’re playing a sport, then warm up, stretch, play, then stretch again.
I don’t stretch before my band workouts or runs. I do stretch after every workout and during runs, when my iliotibial band tightens up.
Here are some essential stretching guidelines:
- Stretch your legs and spine everyday to maintain good joint health.
- You should feel a gentle pull, not pain while stretching.
- Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Stretching seems to have the most benefit after a workout when the muscles are warmed up.
- If you are a runner and already stretch before or after, keep doing that. Studies show more injury if you change your stretching routine.
Why Stretch- It will help you maintain joint range of motion and bath the joint in beneficial fluids. If we don’t consistently take our joints through their full range we will lose flexibility as we age and be more prone to injury.