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Stretching Benefits Muscles in Exercise

Stretching exercise is an important part of any exercise routine, although it is a component that many people ignore. Exercise does not have to be complex, requiring you to have a personal trainer just to understand what you are doing. However, it is not often as simple as doing the activity itself and nothing else, either. Stretching is the best way to begin and end any workout, regardless of how strenuous or relaxing it is. Stretching prepares your muscles to receive the impact of the exercise, loosens them up to prevent injury, and aids in quicker recovery by working out lactic acid. And don't think that you have to know yoga to get anything out of stretching. In fact, some of the best stretches are often the simplest.

Guidelines for Stretching Exercise

For most exercise activities, a wide variety of stretching exercise is best because the body will use many muscles in any activity, even though some may be used more than others. Therefore, it is important that leg, arm, and core muscles all be stretched. If done properly, stretching can not only prevent injury but also cause you to have a better, more effective, workout.

Although stretching exercise should start all workouts, it is not the first step. Before stretching, always do a short warm-up, like slow jogging or walking, for about five minutes to warm the muscles and make them more elastic. When you begin your stretching exercise, remember that it is a gradual, slow, and gentle process. There should be no sudden movements, bouncing, or real pain. Stretch your muscle to the point where you feel a moderate amount of tension and hold the stretch there in that position for approximately eight to ten seconds. Then, relax your muscles completely, releasing the stretch, before you repeat the same stretch, this time pushing the stretch slightly further than before. This is the best way to stretch your muscles without causing strains, pulls, or tears.

When you are creating your stretching exercise routine, start with the large muscle groups. Perform a variety of stretches that work your quadriceps, hamstrings, groin, calves, shin muscles, IT band, and hip flexors. Then, stretch out your upper arms, neck and shoulders, especially for activities like running. Doing some basic torso stretches and front and back bends will loosen up your core area. After going through the entire routine, you should be well prepared for your workout. There are many different stretches that can be used on each muscle, so find ones that you like and use those.

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