stretching before exercise

Shelby Township Personal Trainer Discusses Stretching

Our top priority at Total Health Systems is to address any health conditions that our clients have when they come to us. We assist them with making life adjustments and encourage their health in an effort to stop the same complications from returning in the future. Working out is a great way to stay healthy, along with the other services we offer (nutrition, massage and chiropractic adjustments).

There is a popular thought among many of our patients that a lot of stretching before exercise is important and can even be thought of as your warm up. But the truth is, contrary to this belief, spending an excess amount of time stretching before you begin to exercise can really put you at a disadvantage.

Here’s why:

What does it really mean to warm up? As we warm up, we are readying our bodies for the exercise or strenuous activity that we are about to do. A great warm up has its advantages such as:

  • Muscles get warm and the body temperature increases – this will help to increase the supply of oxygen to the body.
  • Blood circulation to the muscles is increased making contraction and rest of muscles happen faster.
  • Prepares the mind and body for a more physically demanding activity.
  • Aides in the risk reduction for injuries.
  • Overall exercise performance is enhanced.
  • The flexibility of tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues is enhanced.

Suitable warm up activities could include:

  • Calisthenics which help warm up muscles.
  • Low intensity cardio (ie: walking, jogging, cycling) which helpsin increasing 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 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 improving the range of motion of muscles by lengthening them and the connective tissue. Stretching is just as important as strength, endurance and coordination training and ought to be developed in an organized exercise program.

The most common form of stretching is referred to as static stretching. A static stretch will not activate receptors in our muscles that activate contraction because there are no abrupt movements. This enables the muscles to elongate and achieve a permanent 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 pliable. Performing stretching without the proper warm up will merely raise 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 shows how stretching before exercise or physical activity can adversely impact performance.

Are you looking for a personal trainer in Sterling Heights, Michigan?

Total Health Systems is the place for you! We offer a variety of services including personal training and nutrition.

Shelby Township Personal Trainer Discusses Stretching

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

Shelby Township Personal Trainer Discusses Stretching