Stretching before your workout is vital to preventing injuries, and getting the most out of your muscles. Here are three important stretches you should do pre-workout:
Cross-Body Arm Stretch
Most upper-body workouts involve pushing or pulling of some sort in the shoulders. You need to have flexibility in these muscles, especially when working chest, shoulders, or back. The Cross-Body Arm Stretch is excellent at doing just that. Deltoids are used for shoulder rotation, pushing, and pulling weight. Warming up the deltoids ensures a quality workout with chest and shoulders.
Hamstrings are vital for many complex exercises involving the legs. Failure to warm up and stretch your hamstrings could result in a pull, or, worse, a tear. Those are the kind of injuries that could keep you out of the gym for weeks. Toe-touch stretches are simple and give you some nice tension release in your hamstrings. Improving hamstring flexibility will improve not only your lifting but also your cardio.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Hip flexors are often overlooked in stretching. Flexors in the hips are vital for movement and can lead to terrible pain if damaged. People who live a sedentary lifestyle or spend a lot of time at work at rest can have very tight hip flexors, increasing a risk of injury. Several great exercises via FitBodyHQ can help keep your flexors flexible, and lower the risk of injury for fitness especially with cardio or on leg day.
Always remember to warm up for fifteen minutes before stretching, and never disregard your stretches before a workout. Cold muscles under-perform and increase your chance of injury. Never risk your health for the sake of convenience or time. Always warm-up before a lift, and always take care of your body.
Suffered an injury in the gym? Click here for some advice on how to recover, and why an injury is not the end of the world.