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Stretching Before and After Exercising

Stretching Before and After Exercising

Should you stretch before exercise? Will it decrease my performance if I do so? Is it really useful or benefits me? There are a lot of topics regarding stretching before exercise or sports.

Even not before exercise, stretching can be done on regular basis. You can gain benefits with stretching every morning when you wake up or before going to bed. Some studies shows that stretching before exercise is beneficial to some and useless to others.

Before we dive into the topic, there are 2 types of stretching, dynamic stretching and static stretching. One should be used before the exercise and one is after.


Dynamic Stretching

So, dynamic stretching is a movement-based type of stretching where all your muscles and joints go through a range of motions exercise. It’s basically the same as warm-up exercise. Depends on what exercise you are about to do, dynamic stretches mimic the movement of the activity. For example, tennis or baseball player swing or circle their arm to have their muscles warm-up for the movement they’re performing later.

This is best use before any types of sports like basketball, soccer or runner. According to studies, this is beneficial for athletes who will be jumping or running. And even for weightlifting, dynamic stretching can helps extend your leg power and improve overall performance.

Few stretching examples are lunge with a twist, hip swinging or hip circling, arm circle and more. Dynamic stretching is best use before exercise. This is to warm-up your muscle and getting use to repetitive movement that are about to preform later. It brings up your core temperature and is extremely important before exercise.


Static Stretching

Static stretching is stretching a muscle part to the furthest stretching point and hold that position for 15-30 seconds. This usually targets single muscle group with each stretching and is done at the end of the workout. Reason why it’s done after workout is that when you workout, your muscle contracts and shortened. Therefore, static stretching allows your muscle to loosen up and relax while also increase flexibility and range of motion.

There are few types of static stretching, active and passive stretching. Active stretching is perform without any help or assistance of external force. This form of stretching involves using only the strength of the opposing muscles (antagonist) to generate a stretch within the targeted muscle group (agonist). The contraction of the opposing muscles helps to relax the stretched muscles.

On the other hand, passive, or assisted stretching is when external force is provided. For example, another person or apparatus is used to help further stretch the muscles. Due to the greater force applied to the muscles, this form of stretching is slightly more dangerous so more caution is needed when perform this stretching. Passive stretching is useful in helping to attain a greater range of movement, but carries with it a slightly higher risk of injury. It can also be used effectively as part of a rehabilitation program or as part of a cool down.

What happens if you don't stretch before a workout?

Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. When you are sitting on a chair for period of time or standing without moving your muscle, your muscle is basically contracting and stays for some time. If the tight muscles are suddenly called on for a vigorous activity like running or jumping, they may be damaged from suddenly being stretched hard. This will results in injured muscle and since it’s injured, it may not be strong enough to protect the joints which eventually lead to severe injury.

Benefits of stretching on daily basis

  • Improve range of motion and flexibility
  • Reducing stress level
  • Better sleep at night
  • Less pain and stiffness

In a nutshell, should I stretch before or after workout? As stated above with dynamic and static stretching, it is recommended that dynamic stretching is done before workout and static stretching is done post-workout.

Before you work out, do some dynamic stretching to slightly loosen up the muscle. And after you finish your workout session, your muscle tense up and contracted. Here where static stretching is perform to loosen up and relax the muscles.


However, if you do feel any discomfort while performing the stretches or weakness in performing them, feel free to book an appointment with one of our chiropractors at 9300 0095 or visit our website at for more details. Please don’t ignore any pain as it may be an indication of something worse.

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November 28, 2022