stretching before exercise

Personal Trainer in Chesterfield Explains Proper Time to Stretch

Our priority at Total Health Systems is to treat any health issues that our patients have when they come to us. We help them with making life improvements and promote their well being in an effort to keep the same issues from coming back in the future. Working out is a great way to stay healthy, together with the other services we offer (nutrition, massage and chiropractic adjustments).

There’s a popular belief among many of our patients that a lot of stretching before exercise is important and can even be considered your warm up. However, contrary to this thought, investing an excess length of time stretching before beginning to exercise can really 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 raises – this will help to enhance the supply of oxygen to the body.
  • Blood circulation to the muscles is raised making contraction and relaxation of muscles happen faster.
  • Prepares the mind and body for a more challenging activity.
  • Aides in the risk reduction for injuries.
  • Overall exercise performance is enhanced.
  • The flexibility of tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues is increased.

Appropriate warm up activities may include:

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

Stretching focuses on increasing the range of motion of muscles by elongating them and the connective tissue. Stretching is just as important as strength, endurance and coordination training and should be developed in an organized exercise program.

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

The best time to complete a stretching routine is when the muscles are already warm because they’re more flexible. Performing stretching without the proper warm up will only increase the temperature of the muscle being stretched. It has been discovered that stretching can reduce the ability of a muscle to contract for as long as an hour after and this indicates how stretching before exercise or physical activity can adversely impact performance.

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

Personal Trainer in Chesterfield Explains Proper Time to Stretch

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

Personal Trainer in Chesterfield Explains Proper Time to Stretch