stretching before exercise

Sterling Heights Personal Trainer Discusses Stretching

Our goal at Total Health Systems is to treat any health concerns that our clients have when they come to us. We help them with making life adjustments and encourage their health in an attempt to keep the same issues from returning 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 belief among many of our patients that a lot of stretching before exercise is important and can even be regarded 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 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 advantages such as:

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

Appropriate warm up activities could include:

  • Calisthenics which help warm up muscles.
  • Low intensity cardio (ie: walking, jogging, cycling) which helpsin 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 activation of neural pathways and muscles – preparing the muscles for the exercise/activity without making modifications to the length of the muscle.

Stretching targets improving 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 ought to be developed in a prepared exercise program.

The most common form of stretching is called static stretching. A static stretch will not trigger receptors in our muscles that induce contraction because there are no surprising movements. This allows 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 are more flexible. Performing stretching without proper warm up will only raise the temperature of the muscle being stretched. It was discovered that stretching can reduce the ability of a muscle to contract for as long as an hour after and this demonstrates how stretching prior to exercise or physical activity can adversely impact performance.

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

Sterling Heights Personal Trainer Discusses Stretching

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 additional questions concerning stretching or would like to schedule an appointment, please call one of our three locations or visit our website:

Sterling Heights Personal Trainer Discusses Stretching