The one thing that most people do not do after their workout is stretching! Oh my god! That habit of not stretching post-workout will lead to serious pains and injuries in the future! Often people are confused about whether to stretch post-workout or prior to workout. Moreover, people also have such misconceptions that either you need to stretch before or after a workout, there is no need of doing both. However, this whole concept is very wrong.
Imagine your body as an elastic band. What happens when you let the elastic lay for a long while or never use it? The moment you use it. It will seem hard and might have the chance of breaking. The same is true for your body! Your muscles need repairing after a workout and need some breakdown before you start it. Here the stretching comes in. we have gathers some easy yet useful Charts of Post Workout Stretches to Prevent Injuries that will help you! Do follow them and avoid unnecessary injuries!
Charts of Post Workout Stretches to Prevent Injuries
Why do you need to stretch post-workout?
The post-workout stretches, also called as the cooldown stretches are necessary so that you relax your muscles that have undergone rigorous tension and contraction. If you do not stretch after an exercise, the lactic acid buildup near your muscles does not flow and regulate hence you might experience high muscle soreness. With this, you will also experience that your ability to stretch has immensely reduced. Hence, you need to stretch post-workout!
How long should you stretch after a workout?
The ideal duration of stretching after a workout is about 30 minutes to an hour. A stretch has done after that is of no use. It will make your muscles sore even more. You must never skip a post-workout stretch, especially of the muscle group that you have hit that day. With this, we also suggest to immediately get into a workout after your pre-workout stretch. A little chatter in the gym after the stretch is something you must completely avoid.
Does stretching after workout help soreness?
Now, this depends on the type of soreness you have. Often the soreness that you are facing can be cured by hitting the same muscle group the next time. If you are facing acute muscle soreness, you must not stretch that muscle. Remember, stretching is done to prevent the soreness from not to cure it. If your muscle is sore, it means that there is micro-trauma that they are facing. This means that the tissue must have been torn and intense stretching can further enlarge it. Moreover, you must also take care that the stretches that you are doing are in the correct form. If you are doing the stretches in wring form, they might lead you to serious injuries rather than preventing it.
The stretches that are done before the exercise are called dynamic stretches
Dynamic stretching works your muscles up to their full range of motion instead of holding a maximum stretch for a long period. As a general rule, you should only stretch until you feel a slight pull. It should never cause you pain in the muscle or bone.
On the other hand, stretches done after the exercise are called static stretches.
Static stretches are done after your workout. These help release tension in tight muscles. Stretch until you feel a slight pull and then hold that position for 20-90 seconds. Repeat the stretch several times until you feel the tension leave your muscles.
What should you do to avoid soreness in your muscles?
The soreness of muscles happens in two types. The first one is the acute muscle soreness that happens immediately after the exercise and the other is DOMS- delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS is felt after 24 to 72 hours of workout. Now the question is it good or bad. Well, if it is frequent, then it is bad. If you have recently started working out or if you have changed your routine then it is ok to feel it. There are no workout enthusiasts that say that they do not get muscle soreness. However, when you get it more often, this means that your body has become inflammatory. In such cases, you must increase the consumption of water. Try to include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet like
In addition, you must include antioxidants in your diet. Including fish oil in your diet will help you cope up with DOMS. Moreover, having DOMS also means that somewhere your protein intake needs to be increased. Now, this does not mean that you will increase the amount of protein powder in your diet. Try to include protein in a more natural form. Have dairy products such as milk.
Another way can be to use heat therapy immediately after your workout. This will relax the muscle and prevent it from soring.
What happens if you don’t stretch after working out?
If you do not stretch after your workout, you will experience that your flexibility has reduced. You will face muscle stiffness and DOMS. If it keeps continuing, you can have severe muscle damage.
Key Muscles to Stretch after a Workout
- IT Band
- Hip flexors/groin
We hope you liked the topics discussed here! These Charts of Post Workout Stretches to Prevent Injuries are really fun if you have a gym buddy with you. Never avoid having your pre-workout stretching as well as post-workout stretching. They keep your muscles away from injuries and make them heal soon. Also, they increase your performance rate! So have fun while you do these stretches and have a great workout!