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should i stretch before or after i exercise?

should i stretch before or after my exercise

5 answers

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You should not stretch cold muscles. At the very least jump on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes to get the heart rate up and blood pumping. Get the muscles warmed up, then stretch. Personally, I usually have my clients do an active warm-up that is also part of the workout and then have them stretch at the end. Stretching at the end is also a nice way to finish and feels great after a good hard workout.

Cindy Dahm 17k
5 years ago

NEVER stretch a cold muscle (echo, echo, echo). You can do far more damage than good. Warm-ups should consist of a light activity specific to the exercise or activity you are about to undergo i.e. if you are going for a 3-5 mile run, walk-slow jog first then increase the speed to your 'running pace' after you feel a 'warm sensation' come over you (the working muscles)in aprox. 2-5min. If you are lifting weights, ALWAYS perform 2-3 sets at a LIGHTER weight than that of what you intend to lift in your 'working sets'. This holds especially true if it is the first exercise of that muscle group.

Stretching should always be done with warm muscles and is typically performed at the end of the workout for best results (the muscles are simply warmer, with more blood and hence they are more 'pliable/flexible'). Never 'bounce' while stretching and hold for at least 20-30 seconds per stretch. You can stretch the same muscle multiple times and attempt to stretch it further each time.


5 years ago

i have always stretched after a good work out to cool down after my work out

haydenmartini 47k
5 years ago

I agree with Cindy in that the very worse thing you can do is stretch a "cold" muscle!!

Best analogy I have heard; your hamstrings are like rubber bands; the warmer they are the more pliable.

Coming from a martial arts background I always save stretching for the very last part of my workout, the exception being a dynamic stretch, but I personally don't even like doing most dynamic stretches unless I have been warming up for a good 15 minutes.

Yoga seems to have stretching figured out more than any other form of exercise I would argue, and there is a reason why the rooms in Bikram Yoga studio's are heated to 105 degrees or higher..the flexibility gains are better the hotter the area being stretched is.

Also, in baseball, pitchers are cautioned against throwing in too cold of weather, and a throwing arm is much more "lively" the warmer it is.

Nick Flit 64k
5 years ago

There are several types of stretches that can be performed.
PNF, Static, Ballistic and Dynamic are what I use for myself and my athletes. They are all very beneficial when used at the correct time of a workout. We stretch to prepare our bodies for workout. Dynamic movement stretches are best for that. We also need to recover from workout, thus Static stretches. This type of holding stretch increases blood flow. I highly suggest everyone work as hard on their flexibility as they do their strength and cardio. I find as I get older I have to stretch more and more to stay away from nagging injuries.

Jacqui Olsen 11k
5 years ago

add your answer!

bradryle member since Oct '10


TrainerClermont, FL
3/29/2012 at 4:19 PM