Always Be Sure to Stretch Before a Workout
When you come to Gold’s Gym in Douglasville, we know that you are here to get in a good workout. It’s great that you take time out of your schedule to pay attention to your health and to keep moving ahead toward your fitness goals. But whether you are here for group fitness classes, cardio training, free weights and weight machines, or any of our other member amenities, it’s important that you remember to warm-up before starting any workout. And an important part of that warm-up is stretching.
Stretching your muscles before, during, and even after your workout is important for several reasons. Think of all of your muscles as tools, the tools you need for movement. Just like any other tool, it’s important that you take good care of them in order to make sure they are in the best possible condition for the work you need them to do. Stretching prepares the muscles for work. Stretching your muscles also increases their flexibility, which can make you move better and also prevent injury — a tight muscle is more likely to get hurt.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 60 seconds of stretching per exercise at least twice a week — more if you workout more regularly. There are two types of stretching that you can do: dynamic and static.
Dynamic stretching is recommended before a workout. Dynamic stretches are different from the kinds of stretches you may remember from your old phys ed classes in school – those were probably static stretches, where you hold your muscles in the stretch for a brief period of time. Dynamic stretches incorporate movement in order to prepare the muscles for working out. It’s like a short workout before your actual workout, so that your body is in better shape for the work you are about to put it through. Dynamic stretching can also increase your range of motion, which is very helpful no matter what kind of exercise you are engaging in.
Static stretching is useful after you are finished with your regular workout. With static stretching, you are slowly giving your muscles a little extra push to help them recover from working so hard. For some people, static stretching reduces the possibility of muscle pain post-workout, while for others it’s a good way not to feel the stiffness that sometimes comes the day after. Done right, it also feels good, like taking a deep breath.
Our floor staff and certified personal trainers here at Gold’s Gym Douglasville can help you figure out what kinds of stretches will go best with your workout. And if you want even more stretch options, consider a group exercise class like yoga or pilates. But either way, take care of the tools in your body, and remember to get in your stretching.