Something I don’t do as much as I should is STRETCHING. I have gotten to the point where I usually only stretch if I feel tight or sore. So instead of preventing soreness & tightness, I have to correct it.
If you want to prevent getting sore or injured, stretching is the way to go. Stretching your muscles helps to increase your full range of motion, and when you have that full range, you are less likely to get hurt, have joint problems and even decrease muscle imbalances1.
Stretching is especially ESSENTIAL for those who sit all day at work. Sitting for long periods of time creates stiff muscles which is excessive tension of the muscles and inevitably leads to a decreased range of motion. Without proper stretching, this will cause you to be more prone to injury.
Here are just a few basic stretches that will help decrease the risk of injury and muscle soreness. Done all together creates a great full body stretch:
Butterfly stretch (stretches the inner thigh)
Core stretch (stretches the abs & lower back)
Hamstring & calf stretch
Back stretch (I called these ‘Hollywoods’ in HS)
(hold each stretch for 10-20 seconds)
As I said before , one thing you need to do to keep up your exercising/workout goals is to stretch. Injury is a major reason why people stop being physically active. I hope you take all this into account and remember to stretch, at least the days you workout or are sore, but even better is stretching every day. Just do these basic stretches.
1. “NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training”, 3rd edition. Clark, Lucett, Corn. p. 140