Stretching offers many benefits: mobility, injury prevention and stress relief, to name a few. But when exercising, is it better to stretch before or after? The answer is: before and after.
Before exercise you need to warm up and dynamic stretching can be combined as part of the warm-up. The goal is to get the blood flowing and raise your body temperature a little. It’s important to have your muscles, ligaments and joints experience the functional range of motion required of your sport during the warm-up. Movements such as arm circles, torso twists and hip rotations are examples of dynamic stretches.
After your workout, it’s time for static stretching. This is the time to relax, wind down and improve flexibility. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and stretch consistently to see results. Focus on breathing during the stretch, using each exhalation to go a little further.