I've been training clients for a little over a year now, and I noticed that most people make the same mistake of not stretching when beginning a workout. Some may find it tedious, but there are many benefits to stretching prior to working out. Surprisingly, an even smaller amount of people do not stretch after the workout as well. As a matter of fact, most people don't even know that they should.
Stretching is necessary whether you lift weights or not. There are many benefits to this healthy habit, but I'll give you the rundown of the top five:
Stretching increases your flexibility. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. As you get older, your flexibility and joint range of motion will slowly diminish, but stretching regularly while staying hydrated can help to regain and maintain your body movements.
Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles, which brings in nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts that are in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you've had any muscle injuries.
Stretching helps maintain proper posture. Frequent stretching can help keep your muscles from tightening up, allowing you to maintain the proper posture. Having good posture can minimize discomfort and keep aches and pains at a minimum.
Stretching is a stress reliever. It's simple: stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.This is why it's important to stretch after a workout - it prevents full muscle tightening, which is what gives you that stiff feeling days after an intense workout.
Stretching enhances coordination. Maintaining the full range-of-motion through your joints keeps you in better balance. Coordination and balance will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls, especially as you get older. This is important when pertaining to calisthenics and certain HIIT exercises.