best time to stretch

Macomb Personal Trainer Discusses Proper Time to Stretch

Our objective at Total Health Systems is to treat any health problems that our patients have after they come to us. We assist them with making life improvements and promote their well being in an effort to stop the same complications from coming back in the future. Working out is a great way to stay healthy, beyond the other services we provide (nutrition, massage and chiropractic adjustments).

There’s a popular belief among many of our patients that a lot of stretching before exercise is necessary and can even be thought of as your warm up. However, contrary to this thought, spending an excess amount of time stretching before you start to exercise can actually put you at a disadvantage.

Here’s why:

What does it mean to warm up? When we warm up, we are preparing our bodies for the exercise or physical activity that we are about to do. A good warm up has its rewards such as:

  • Muscles warm up and the body temperature increases – this helps to enhance the supply of oxygen to the body.
  • Blood flow to the muscles is raised making contraction and rest of muscles happen quicker.
  • Prepares the mind and body for a more physically demanding activity.
  • Aides in the risk reduction for injuries.
  • Overall exercise performance is enhanced.
  • The elasticity of tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues is enhanced.

Proper warm up activities may include:

  • Calisthenics that will help warm up muscles.
  • Low intensity cardio (ie: walking, jogging, cycling) which helps in boosting the heart rate and temperature of our bodies and also raises blood flow.
  • Full range of movement of the joints that might be used for the exercise or activity.
  • High intensity movement in short bursts.
  • Ballistic stretching for activation of neural pathways and muscles – preparing the muscles for the exercise/activity without making changes to the length of the muscle.

Stretching concentrates on increasing the range of motion of muscles by lengthening them and the connective tissue. Stretching is just as essential as strength, endurance and coordination training and ought to be developed in a prepared exercise program.

The most widely used form of stretching is known as static stretching. A static stretch will not activate receptors in our muscles that stimulate contraction because there are no quick movements. This permits the muscles to elongate and achieve a lasting change in the length of the muscle.

The optimum time to perform a stretching routine is when the muscles are already warm because they’re more flexible. Performing stretching without the proper warm up will only raise the temperature of the muscle being stretched. It has been found that stretching can lessen the ability of a muscle to contract for as long as an hour after and this shows how stretching prior to exercise or physical activity can adversely impact performance.

Are you looking for a personal trainer in Romeo, Michigan? Total Health Systems is the place for you! We offer a variety of services including personal training and nutrition.

Macomb Personal Trainer Discusses Best Time to Stretch

At Total Health Systems, we recognize the need for patient education and we offer articles, just like this one, to help with education. If you have any more questions regarding stretching or would like to schedule an appointment, please call one of our three locations or visit our website:

Macomb Personal Trainer Discusses Proper Time to Stretch