You've heard it time and time again. "Don't forget to stretch." "Warm up and stretch to avoid any injuries." And while all of these are true in a way, there is one small detail that is misleading. Stretching before being warmed up actually does more harm than good. When muscle fibers are still cold, the act of pulling them in a stretch can actually damage them. All you have to do to avoid this is any light activity for 5-10 minutes that will increase blood flow in the area you will be stretching. This could be just a brisk walk, or you could save the stretching for after an anaerobic or weight training workout.
Increasing Range of Motion & Flexibility
One way that stretching can help your workouts is by helping you improve or maintain a wide range of motion. Dynamic stretching helps move a joint through its full range, which helps you get a farther stretch in that muscle, and therefore a more effective workout. The increased flexibility also helps delay the reduced mobility that tends to come with age.
Decreases Tension Headaches
Anyone who frequently suffers from migraines or tension headaches knows how much it can get in the way of a workout, or pretty much any other plans you had for the day. Stretching can help release tension as well as increase oxygen levels and blood flow, which are all things that have been proven to relieve headaches.
Use Electrical Stimulation
If you have trouble properly warming up your muscles or have particular areas that are very stiff, a high quality TENS/EMS Unit can work wonders for tight muscle fibers. Because of its stretching feature, we always recommend the VPod, since it has three different electrical stimuation technologies in a single, wireless device. But the stretching feature is just one of 24, including acupuncture, lomi lomi, and muscle recovery settings. Visit VPod.Life for more info on the VPod and how it could help your workout as well as your recovery.