Stretching is almost always a regular part of the training. Almost everyone does it, but what’s the point?
What is stretching?
Stretching is the stretching of the muscles during a movement or position. During exercise, your muscles shorten. By stretching you actually bring the muscles back to their original length.
Why is stretching part of the workout?
- Relaxation: After training, your body and mind will relax before you continue with the day.
- Returning the muscles to the original length: During exercise the muscles shorten, by stretching you bring the muscles back to the original length and you prevent stiffness.
- Range of motion: Regular stretching makes the muscles more flexible, which improves your range of motion (for example, you can bend your knees better).
- Improve your posture: By stretching you become more mobile and flexible, which ultimately leads to a better posture.
What types of stretching are there?
There are 2 forms of stretching: Static and Dynamic:
- Static: Here you hold a position for a short period with which you stretch a muscle (group).
- Dynamic: This is the stretching of a muscle (group) during a movement.
When should you stretch?
Stretching does not only have to be done after training, there are several moments when you can perform stretching exercises:
- Before training: After a good warm-up, a stretch can take place. This can have a positive influence on performance, especially in sports where you move a lot. Dynamic stretching is almost always used for this.
- Post-Workout: This is when most people stretch. Stretching after training ensures that the muscles relax, lowers the heart rate and ensures relaxation. Static stretching is often used for this. Unfortunately, preventing muscle soreness by stretching is a myth.
- During the day: If you have stiff muscles, for example from sedentary work, stretching during the day can help to reduce this stiffness.