Should I Stretch Before Or After My Workout


should I stretch before or after my workout

Asking Yourself Should I stretch Before Or After My Workout?

As I’ve pointed out several times before in previous writings, there is a lot of myths and what I call science fiction strewn about the health and fitness landscape. There is no shortage of sweeping statements, wonder pills, and amazing breakthroughs, that will give you abs in 5 minutes. As a longtime Austin personal trainer and gym owner, I used to cringe when someone would “enlighten” me with the latest and greatest in the fitness world, but now it doesn’t even faze me after all these years. One of the biggest and most misunderstood aspects of health and fitness, not just in a rehabilitative arena, is stretching. One of the biggest questions I field is the oft asked should I stretch before or after my workout?

Asking someone, or Googling should I stretch before or after my workout, is like asking someone else if you’re hungry. Certainly there are folks with postural imbalances that mandates stretching before, during and/or after certain activities, but generally speaking, people should trust their intuition, barring specific cases where there is or has been injury, and feel what they’re doing. In fitness, everybody seemingly is looking for the magic pill coupled with the magic formula. In the 22 years I’ve been a personal trainer, I haven’t seen either. I tell people to revert to feel, and that means exactly what you think it does. The ability to take stock of how you feel. For example, if you’re about to do a leg workout, ask yourself if your various leg muscles are feeling at all tight. If say, your hamstrings, are tight, stretching them out before your workout would be a good idea. If in the midst of your leg workout, you are feeling tightness around your patella (knee cap) it would be a good idea to stretch out the quadriceps so you can maintain proper patella tracking and avoid a painful injury down the road due to shortened and weakened tendons and ligaments.

In some cases, there is absolutely no need to wonder should I stretch before or after my workout, as the answer is going to be both, and very resoundingly at that. If you have had reconstructive surgery to your shoulder, for example, you absolutely need to maintain flexibility and mobility in and around that joint. Lifting weights will make things stronger, generally speaking, but without a full range of motion, or an improper one, due to shortened connective tissue, etc, you will be causing more damage than anything else. In these instances, it is not whether should I stretch before or after my workout, but rather, for how long you will stretch before and after your workout. In the instances where people have notoriously tight muscles, let’s say hamstrings, for example, before running, it would be a very good idea to stretch them out, along with their insertion points into the patellas, and gluteals. If a muscle is chronically tight, but fully functional, you’ll want to stretch it out thoroughly before working it out, especially if you are planning on doing any kind of intense exercise. If you don’t, you run a very real risk of tearing the muscle from the smallest of macro tears, to a full off the bone tear which will require surgery to reattach, followed by many months of rehabilitation. Considering how avoidable all that can usually be, it’s not a bad idea to incorporate stretching into your fitness regimen.

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Andy
My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
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Should I Stretch Before Or After My Workout
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Should I Stretch Before Or After My Workout
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Longtime Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey answers the oft asked question of should I stretch before or after my workout?
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Andy Bruchey-Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270