Stretching is repeatedly put on the back burner. It’s hard enough to allot time in our day for a good workout, let alone a good stretch afterwards. People tend to think stretching isn’t important. I used to be one of them. However we already spend so much time in front of the computer, teaching our bodies to hunch inwards, and then we tighten up our muscles as we exercise. Our bodies need to stretch!
The primary benefits of stretching is that it helps improve flexibility, which therein improves your range of motion. This enhanced flexibility may then improve your athletic performance as your joints are aided to move their full range of motion.
My primary utilization is post-exercise stretching as a tool for recovery. Stretching increases circulation, thus improving blood flow to your worked muscles, which leads to reduced muscle soreness… aka speeding up recovery!
If you are a runner, follow Scott Jurek’s* “runner’s five”- by hitting the 5 main muscles: hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, calves, and the IT band.
If you are a back country skier or a climber you might have the forward shoulder slump (or simply by living in our current computer filled world you probably have a shoulder slump) then you should probably also regularly stretch out your shoulders and chest.
Don’t cheat yourself-> Just stretch!
*”Eat & Run” by Scott Jurek- a must read.