Fitness Column 13 - Recovery – The Importance of stretching

Finding time in our busy schedules to workout is one thing but then finding the time to stretch both before and after is another!

Stretching plays a very important role in our training and too many of us do not do it! Stretching before we engage in exercise is important because; it lubricate the joints, it opens our muscles, helps with an initial flow of blood before you start.

Once the body is warmed up and the muscles have been loosened, you’ll benefit with the movements in your workout!

Stretching after training is just as important. When we workout, lactic acid builds up in our muscles, which leads to muscle soreness and fatigue. Have you ever worked out, felt nothing the day after BUT the day after that you can hardly move?! That’s what is known as DOM’s – Delayed onset muscle soreness. This will occur when relatively new to training or real strenuous exercise and can be mitigated by stretching!

Stretching the muscles when they’re warm, increases blood circulation and enables us to open the muscles we’ve just tightened by training. In every class I provide, you will be coached through a full and valid warm up and cool down. Not only does this minimise injury but generates greater flexibility and helps pin point any muscles which are particularly tighter in the body or can identify injuries sustained while training.

Here are a few types of stretching you can do, not just before or after class;


Ballistic Stretching – Improve flexibility

Dynamic Stretching – limiting stretching to your ROM (Range of Movement)

Active / Static Stretching – Assume a position and hold

Passive Stretching – Help from an external agent

Isometric Stretching – Resistance of muscle groups without motion

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation – For rehab


Enjoy your training and look after your body!  - Rich