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Warming Up and Stretching?
Which to Do First?

Should you stretch before you warm up or warm up before you stretch? Let's break it down in this article in a quick and easy way.

Both stretching and warming up are important components to any exercise program. However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding which activity to do first.

Let's take a closer look at this issue. A common myth is that stretching should always be done before any physical activity. Let's put this myth to rest once and for all.

Woman Stretching

Stretching causes the muscles to lengthen, which is a good way to protect muscles from getting injured during sport or exercise. However, stretching cold muscles can cause even more damage, even tearing muscles. Your muscles are surrounded by connective tissue; just think of this connective tissue as a rubber elastic band.

Elastic bands have the potential to stretch a great deal. Now, if you were to stretch an elastic band to its full potential without first stretching it little by little, until it gradually becomes more flexible, it would no doubt snap in half. The same thing can happen with your muscles. If you stretch them before they have warmed up, you could end up with a torn or pulled muscle, which is painful and uncomfortable.

Always begin your workout or sporting activity with a dynamic warm up such as jogging on the spot, doing jumping jacks or just jumping up and down. When you have warmed up the muscles, you can go ahead and stretch them before, during and after your exercise activity, which will help prevent any unnecessary injuries and also assist with your overall flexibility.

Copyright 2007: Remedium. This article may not be copied, in whole or in part, without the written consent of Remedium.

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