Stretching: It’s Complicated, But Worth It – BackOnTrackHealthcare

Stretching: It’s Complicated, But Worth It

Love it or hate it, stretching is a key player in most workout routines. It promises better flexibility, fewer injuries, and even improved performance. But when's the ideal time to do it? Before, after, or both? Let's delve into the science and get expert advice from our senior osteopath Kieran.
Why Stretch?

Think of stretching as temporarily lengthening your muscles. There are two main types: dynamic (active movements) and static (holding positions). Both offer benefits, like:

Improved flexibility: Stretching helps you move more freely and feel less stiff, both during workouts and daily life.

Increased range of motion: This means you can reach further and move more deeply, potentially improving performance in certain exercises.
Injury prevention: Warmer, more flexible muscles are less prone to tearing or straining.
Before or After? It Depends.

The answer isn’t simple. Here’s the lowdown:


Skip static stretches: They could hurt cold muscles and even impact performance.
Go dynamic: Callie recommends movements like hip circles and thoracic spine openers to prep your muscles for action.
Light cardio is okay: A quick jog or swim can get your blood flowing and muscles warm.


Prime time for static: Your muscles are warm and ready for deeper stretches, allowing you to build flexibility and range of motion.
Target specific areas: Hamstrings, quads, and calves are common post-workout stretches. Hold each for 15-20 seconds.

Soreness? It’s debatable: Research isn’t conclusive on whether stretching reduces post-workout soreness. But if it feels good, do it!

Making Stretching Count

No need for long, complex routines. Kieran suggests starting small, with quick stretches. Even 5 minutes a day can make a difference. Remember, consistency is key!

The Bottom Line:

Stretching is valuable, but the timing isn’t a strict rule. Do what feels good and fits your routine. Listen to your body, start small, and gradually build up. You might just surprise yourself with your new found flexibility and performance!

Or you can speak to one of our lovely reception team who will find a time to suit you, on 020 8545 0965.


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