Fitness Myth: Stretching

Fitness Myth: You should always stretch before working out.

Semi-False/True!  There are two types of stretching: dynamic and static.  Dynamic stretches should be done before a workout to prepare the body for physical exertion through exercise or sports. Static stretching should be done after said physical activity.  *As to stay on topic static stretches and their benefits will be covered in a later post.

Dynamic stretches are a form of stretching that involves movement.

Throughout our lives we were taught from a young age, starting in grade school, that before we exercise or do physical activity we should perform stretches at a resting position (static stretching) so that we don’t “cramp up” or “injure ourselves.”  However, studies have now shown that performing certain types of stretches that are done with an active movement is more beneficial. Dynamic stretching includes constant movement throughout the warm-up which allows the body to maintain core temperature, whereas, static stretching allows for the body temperature to slowly cool. It also prepares the muscles and joints for exercising or sports better since dynamic stretches more closely mimics what the body is about to go through and provides more of a full-body warm-up.

Below is a short video of some dynamic stretches that can be performed.

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