First of all, we are going to mention that the studies about this topic are not conclusive and that our intention is to give some simple tips that contribute to your physical well-being.
When starting the training we recommend always a good warm-up. Whether you are going to swim, run, ride a bicycle or any other sport that you like to practice, the intention is to raise body temperature, gradually increase heart rate and prepare the body and mind for the training you have ahead.
In this part we recommend global movements and dynamic stretching, that is, those in which range of joint range is sought through movement, thus avoiding static positions that produce an inhibitory effect at the neuromuscular level that, consequently, cause a decrease in performance during the execution of the exercise.
Especially if you are going to practice a sport that includes explosive movements, such as sprints, jumps or rapid changes of direction, it is very important that these dynamic stretches are included in the warm-up. Pay special attention to the quality of movement, being these soft, controlled and progressive, avoiding the movements of rebound. Realizing them in this way you will see that, little by little, you are feeling more comfortable for the practice of physical activity and your body will respond better to subsequent efforts.
The main benefits offered by dynamic stretches are:
If you go to collective classes, the instructor will always tell you to start off smoothly, using between 5 and 10 minutes of the class for the warm-up, so it is important that you follow these instructions and do not rush to increase the intensity since you can injure yourself.
In addition to the warm-up, another important moment in which we recommend that you always stretch is at the end of your session. Once you have finished and before the muscles “cool down”, it is important to dedicate a few minutes to the stretches. In this case, we recommend those called static, in which the muscle should be lengthened until reaching a point before the pain threshold, maintaining the position for a certain period of time.
This slow way of stretching facilitates muscle relaxation. It can also be done individually and is considered safe provided that, as mentioned before, the threshold of pain is not passed.
The main benefits offered by static stretching are the following:
In cases where there is an injury, such as a torn fibrillar or ligament, static stretches should be avoided, as they can be harmful delaying tissue healing.
We conclude stating that stretching is very important in training for all the benefits mentioned, so we encourage you to include them in your session. But you must remember that the idea is to perform the dynamics during the warm-up and leave the static ones until the end.
And if yours are the collective classes, and you want to improve your flexibility, some of them like Pilates, Body Balance, Healthy Back or the same Stretching, will help you to get it.