Static Stretching Is Underrated
Over the years, people have gone back and forth about whether people should be doing static stretches, dynamic stretches, neither, both, before your workout, after your workout, etc. Like many things in health and fitness, it can get confusing.
However, there is a lot of evidence that static stretching after your workout when your muscles are already warm can go a long way toward aiding in recovery. I know that I have personally found this to be anecdotally true, and I typically try to fit in at least one 15 minute session of global, full body, gentle static stretches at some point throughout my day.
Some possible benefits:
- Reduced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) & faster recovery.
- Better range of motion around stiff joints.
- Stress relief (physical and psychological).
- Reduced joint discomfort.
- Greater body awareness.
Contrary to popular belief, it is unlikely that your muscles will actually get longer, but you will teach your body and nervous system that it is ok to explore greater ranges of motion, and with consistent practice, this will allow you to move more freely through those end ranges.
So give it a try - start top to bottom and explore the muscles around each joint to try to restore full range of motion (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, each segment of your back, hips, knees and ankles). Move in ways that feel good. You may find some areas that you didn't even realize are tight and limiting you. Hold positions for at least 15-30 seconds.
If you're unsure how to stretch a particular area, ask one of our coaches!