stretching before exercise

Personal Trainer of Rochester Explains When to Stretch

Our objective at Total Health Systems is to address any health concerns which our clients have after they come to us. We assist them with making life changes and encourage their health in an attempt to prevent the same issues from coming back in the future. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy, in addition to the other services we provide (nutrition, massage and chiropractic adjustments).

There’s a popular thought among a number of our patients that a lot of stretching before exercise is essential and can even be considered your warm up. But the truth is, 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 readying our bodies for the exercise or strenuous activity that we’re about to do. A good warm up has its advantages such as:

  • Muscles warm up and the body temperature raises – this will help to enhance the supply of oxygen to the body.
  • Blood movement to the muscles is raised making contraction and rest of muscles happen more rapidly.
  • Prepares the mind and body for a more intense activity.
  • Aides in the risk reduction for injuries.
  • Overall exercise performance is increased.
  • The flexibility of tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues is enhanced.

Proper warm up activities can include:

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

Stretching targets 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 should be developed in an organized exercise program.

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

The best time to do 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 reduce the ability of a muscle to contract for as long as an hour after and this shows how stretching before exercise or physical activity can negatively impact performance.

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

Personal Trainer of Rochester Explains When to Stretch

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

Personal Trainer of Rochester Explains When to Stretch