Has stretching taken a backseat in your exercise routine? Many of us focus on aerobic and weight lifting for muscle strengthening when we work out, but sometimes that is only half the workout needed.

Dynamic stretching helps to prepare your muscles and joints for the exercise you are about to perform by increasing blood flow and warming up the muscle tissue. Dynamic stretching is performed pre exercise; it is a faster paced stretching that is similar to the exercise you are about to perform. It consists of smooth movement of joints, with no holds or bouncing, but gentle and controlled movement of a specific muscle.

Static stretching is performed post exercise; it helps to elongate muscle tissue and increase range of motion. Static stretching is performed by taking your muscle or limb to its end range of motion and holding this position for a minimum of 30 seconds to elongate the warm muscle tissue and allow time for the tendons to react to this hold.

Both stretching activities can decrease your chance of pain and injury by allowing the body and muscles time to react to the exercise pre or post workout. Stretching also helps to limit muscle stiffness and aching due to static positonal posture that can occur at work and home. Don’t cheat yourself or your muscles and stretch to your full potential.

If you have further questions regarding safe stretching techniques, ask your therapist at Premier to assist you in adding stretches to your workout routine.