Today's post is very simple: stretch.
Stretch before, then stretch again after your workout. I see plenty of people at the gym, and I confess to having been one of them on occasion, who blast through their stretching routines—that is, if they stretch at all.
Let me ask you this: Would you give a speech without prepping? You can, and you'll fumble your way through it, but the aftermath might not be pleasant. When you prepare for such an event, you'll speak easily and with positive feedback at the end. Prepping for a speech is essentially stretching your brain. Warming it up, in other words. And your brain, like your calf or your quad, is a muscle.
So if you stretch the rest of your muscles like you stretch your brain for a speech or anything else, you'll have a better workout with positive results. You'll curb your risk for injury while prepping your muscles for a fat burning, strength-enhancing workout. Or whatever your goals may be. You'll also keep yourself limber, which makes everyday activities that much easier.
I recommend holding each of your stretches for a count of 45 seconds. And by all means, don't bounce! If you feel any pain, pull back the stretch to where it's most comfortable. Lucky for us, our muscles and tendons are built to respond to overstretching. Scientifically speaking, it's called the myotatic stretch reflex. It describes the point at which your muscle sends a signal to your spinal cord to indicate a breaking point, and that's why you feel the pain.
Feel free to contact me for specific stretch ideas.