Stretching tips for athletes!

We all know the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it” but what about all the information wrapped in between the lines? You know, the things that you become interested in knowing only when it applies to you! For example, when you decide to do that 5K with a friend and you’ve heard that it can be beneficial to stretch but you have no idea as to exactly how or why? Here is some information that you may find beneficial when it comes to understanding the full benefits of stretching!

-Warming-up (ex. light jog) BEFORE stretching can help improve joint flexibility and achieve a higher range of motion! Just think about it, lets relate your body to an oven!  When you want your best results do you just throw all the ingredients in and then turn the oven on, or do you warm the oven up first?  By warming that core temperature of your body before stretching you can improve the elasticity of your muscles and better prepare you for your competition or sudden external forces (minimize injury)! Just remember to not over stretch before activity. Keep it simple and only hold your stretches for a maximum of 20 seconds

Stretching after activity can improve the longevity of your flexibility! While your muscles are warm and elongated you can stretch to preserve the increased lengthening from activity! And remember stretching is a skill and with time it can have a huge positive impact on performance and  your normal activity/routine.