stretching before exercise

Personal Trainer in Utica Discusses Stretching

Our main concern at Total Health Systems is to treat any health issues which our patients have when they come to us. We help them with making life improvements and promote their well being 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 offer (nutrition, massage and chiropractic adjustments).

There is a common belief among a number of our patients that a lot of stretching before exercise is necessary and can even be regarded as your warm up. In spite of this, contrary to this belief, spending an excess amount of time stretching before you start to exercise can really put you at a disadvantage.

Here’s why:

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

  • Muscles get warm and the body temperature increases – this will help to improve the supply of oxygen to the body.
  • Blood flow to the muscles is raised making contraction and relaxation of muscles happen more rapidly.
  • Prepares the mind and body for a more challenging activity.
  • Aides in the risk reduction for injuries.
  • Overall exercise performance is enhanced.
  • The elasticity of tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues is increased.

Proper warm up activities may include:

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

Stretching concentrates 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 ought to be developed in a structured exercise program.

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

The optimum time to do a stretching routine is when the muscles are already warm because they are more flexible. Performing stretching without the proper warm up will only 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 indicates how stretching prior to exercise or physical activity can adversely impact performance.

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

Personal Trainer in Utica Discusses Stretching

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

Personal Trainer in Utica Discusses Stretching