Spring is officially here! One of the most common quotes around this time is “It’s time to hit the gym and get ready for summer”. Although we love to hear our patients’ goals about working on their health, one of the very next things we will hear is “I just started working out and man am I sore!”. What are some ways to keep sore muscles at a minimum and help you stay progressing at the gym?
When asked how often they stretch; many patients say they either do not stretch or that they stretch for a few minutes before or after their workout. Questions one might ask are: When are the best times to stretch and what types of stretches are best for before and after workouts?
There are actually two types of stretching that are beneficial when working out: dynamic and static. When done at the correct times, these stretches are significant in keeping sore muscles at bay and allowing muscles to warm up and cool down properly.
A dynamic stretch is a controlled movement that moves a muscle group fluidly through an entire range of motion and should be done prior to working out. Performing dynamic stretching properly can have a significant benefit to your athletic performance. Dynamic stretching can accomplish many things like increasing blood flow to your muscles, increasing your range of motion and steadily increasing your heart rate for your upcoming workout. Some examples of dynamic stretches are standing cat/camels, walking lunges, heel flicks, or high knees, which help to get your heart rate up and stretch specific groups of muscles.
A static stretch is most effective after a workout and is described as stretching a muscle to the full extent of your ability and holding it for 15-30 seconds. This stretch works by elongating the muscle groups that were just exercised during the workout. Static stretches are beneficial for maintaining range of motion and keeping muscle tissue healthy. Some examples of static stretching include hamstring stretch, quadriceps stretch, trunk rotation, and arm and shoulder stretches.
Stretching is one activity that should be done every day of the week, especially static stretching. Dynamic stretching should be done before workouts to “warm up” the muscle groups you will soon work out! Stretching properly before and after workouts can help decrease soreness and when paired with chiropractic care, can prevent future injuries and help with reaching fitness goals.
Chiropractic care helps you reach your goals by adjusting the misalignments throughout the body which slows down healing of the muscles you work out. Chiropractic adjustments along with proper stretching speed up the recovery process of your muscles and help you reach your fitness goals!
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