Which stretching exercise is best for muscles?

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In the first part of this article, we wrote about when you should stretch, how static stretching before a workout can be detrimental, how warming up is good for your workout, and how to warm up effectively.

Instead of static stretching before your workout, try dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretches are specific to the sport or workout. For runners, an ideal warm-up might include squats, lunges and “form drills” like kicking your buttocks with your heels. Athletes who need to move rapidly in different directions, like soccer or basketball players, should do dynamic stretches that involve many parts of the body. “Spider-Man” is a particularly good drill: drop onto all fours and crawl the width of the court, as if you were climbing a wall.

Photo- Stretching Girl (danske@flickr)

Photo- Stretching Girl (danske@flickr)

Now, after your workout, you should do static stretching. During your workout, your muscles contract and expand, and go through a lot of rigour. After a strenuous workout, your muscles are sore and devoid of nutrients. Do static stretching now. Stretch each major muscle part of your body (list below). Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds. The benefit of stretching is that it helps the muscle fibers relax, which in turn helps your body deliver nutrients faster your muscles.  Stretching will help to deliver nutrients faster to your body, and thus help muscle growth. With more muscle, your body will burn more calories at rest, and thus help you lose the fat faster! Stretching post workout also reduces muscle soreness the next morning, seriously!

Below is a list of major muscles in your body, that you must stretch after your workout. In your lower body, stretch your thighs, hamstrings, calves and your glutes. In your upper body, stretch your shoulders, triceps, back, chest, abs and your biceps.

So remember .. stretch after your workout, not before. Spending those 5-10 minutes doing static stretching after your workout is very beneficial!

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