Reasons why you should always stretch post-workout


Even though most of us are aware that stretching our body and muscles after exercise is one of the most important aspects of working out, many of us neglect to do it on a regular basis. No matter how beneficial and necessary stretching pre-and-post workout is, when we are tired after going hard in the gym, or have found a quick 30 minutes to do a home workout, many of us are guilty of skipping it. 

It is important to remember that despite all the positive mental and physical health benefits that exercise provides for our body, it also puts a lot of pressure on our muscles, which is why stretching post-workout is so essential. Stretching should be an integral part of any workout routine, and without it you may find that physical activity becomes more difficult and painful over time. 

So here are our top reasons why you should always stretch post-workout and some of the benefits that your mind and body will experience. Believe us when we say that your body and muscles will thank you for it! 

Increased flexibility 

One of the biggest obstructions that most of us will face when trying to work out and push our body’s capabilities is a lack of flexibility. Being flexible is not something that you can develop overnight, and you will have to invest a considerable amount of time in your workout plan before you start to see a difference. However, one of the easiest and most effective ways that you can increase your flexibility is by stretching post-workout. 

Once you have stepped off the treadmill, the muscles that you have just pushed to the max will be contracted and tense. But by stretching these muscles post-workout you can help them release tension and return to their relaxed pre-workout state. Not only will this be more comfortable for you, but it will help your muscles become more flexible and also prevent any injuries that can occur from sore and tense muscles or joints

Improves blood circulation 

During a workout, the blood in your body pumps at a much faster rate. Therefore, it is important that you include stretching into your post-workout routine so that you provide your body with the chance to rest and cool down, and for your heart rate to slow down and return to a normal rate. Stretching post-workout also provides the opportunity for the blood circulation to return to the muscles which can help to ease and prevent muscle stiffness and soreness. 

Reduces muscle tension and pain 

Most of us are familiar with the post-workout stiffness that you can experience after a heavy session in the gym. This is caused by pushing our muscles to the maximum during an intense session, but many people wrongly believe in the ‘no pain, no gain’ mantra. Instead, it is important that you take the time to ease sore and aching muscles post-workout by stretching out your used muscles. Leaving your sore muscles post-workout can cause significant damage to your muscle health while also increasing your risk of injury. Many people aren’t aware that it is within the recovery period that your muscles grow and develop, and not during the workout. Therefore, it is crucial that you take the time to stretch post-workout. 

There are different forms of muscle recovery equipment that you can use while stretching out your muscles after a heavy session, such as the Pulseroll massage gun. This will help to minimise any pain or discomfort you experience after exercise, and will limit your risk of potential muscle injuries which could threaten your workout schedule altogether. 

Helps mental clarity 

Working out is not only good for the body, but it also has a lot of benefits for the mind. However, once you have left the gym or finished your home workout, your body and mind can feel pumped and full of energy. Therefore, by taking part in some post-workout stretching you can slow down your mind and relax your mood. While it is normal to feel pumped after a heavy session, stretching is the perfect opportunity for you to harmonise your mind and relieve any stress you have built up throughout the day. 

Stretching also gives your body a chance to rest and identify any muscle soreness or pain that you need to give extra attention to as part of your muscle recovery routine. 

Increases range of motion 

All professional athletes take the time to stretch out their bodies post-workout, as muscles that have not been stretched can remain constricted, which can stop them from being used to their full potential. By getting into the routine of stretching out your muscles post-workout, you will achieve a greater range of motion and experience better results in the gym. This is what can really help you see progression as a result of your workouts and recovery.  

Therefore, no matter how tired or strapped for time you may be, if you want to reduce your risk of muscle injury, protect your muscle health, and see the best results over time, it is essential that you stretch out your body post-workout. 

There are different stretches that you can do post-workout to target the muscles used in your workout. For example,  this simple stretch targets the muscles in your chest and shoulders as well as your biceps.

  1. Start by standing up straight and placing your hands behind your back in an interlace position with your hands at the bottom of your spine. 
  2. Then straighten out your arms and change the position of your hands so that the palms of your hands are facing down. 
  3. You should then try to raise your arms as high as you can in that position until you start to feel a stretch in your shoulders and biceps. 
  4. Continue with this stretch for around 30-40 seconds. 
  5. Repeat this 2-3 times.