Why Athletes Should Always Stretch Before Physical Activity

Athlete warming and stretching 

Everyone knows that it’s important to get regular exercise. However, fewer people understand theimportance of stretching before each workout. Even seasoned athletes sometimes hasten or forgo stretching in order to get to the workout. If you’re an athlete, take a look at the benefits of stretching below and try to stretch before every practice or game.    

Better Performance

Since stretching cold muscles can actually be harmful, experts recommend warming up for 5 minutes before stretching. After a short jog or some jumping jacks, spend 10 minutes or so stretching your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Stretching will help keep your muscles and joints warm, allowing you to move easier on the court or field. Regular stretching can also help you gain more flexibility, which is an important component of strength, speed, and agility.

Reduced Soreness

Every athlete experiences soreness after a particularly tough workout. If you spend some time stretching before your workout, you will experience far less soreness than if you skip stretching. Stretching before and after every workout can help increase blood flow to your muscles and joints, thus providing them with more oxygen and nutrients. This increase in blood flow can help your muscles repair themselves faster, reducing the amount of soreness in the process.  

Reduced Risk of Injury

Your muscles should be loose and warm as you engage in physical activity. If you try to work out with cold and stiff muscles, there’s a greater chance that you will suffer a tear, sprain, or strain. Stretching only takes a few minutes, and can make a world of difference in your performance. Unfortunately, stretching will not completely eliminate your chances of suffering an injury.

A shoulder, spine, knee, elbow, or ankle injury is nothing to be ashamed of. If you seek the help ofSuburban Orthopaedics of Bartlett, our orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists will get you back into the game as soon as possible. Call (630)  372-1100  to learn all about our pain management 

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