Understanding the significance of pre-workout stretches is key to optimizing your exercise routine. By taking the time to warm up and loosen your muscles, you not only reduce the likelihood of injuries but also enhance your range of motion and overall performance. This article explores the science-backed benefits of incorporating pre-workout stretches into your fitness regimen, enabling you to approach your workouts with confidence and achieve more rewarding results.
It is time to stop training like an amateur and learn how to maximize gains from your exercise routine with the most effective pre-workout stretches. Substituting that outdated and ineffective warm-up with science-backed pre-workout stretches will provide the body with the environment needed to optimize performance while simultaneously lowering your risk for injury. By including dynamic stretches, you will be training like a professional and improving flexibility, range of motion, and muscle activation for an explosive exercise session.
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Stop Feeling Stiff and Sore: The Ultimate Guide to Pre-Workout Stretches is an original (HisHealthMag) article.
Evidence-based stretches to improve performance
The best way to improve exercise performance is to include dynamic stretches into your exercise routine. Consistently, scientific studies support dynamic stretching to improve performance on a variety of athletic measures. Here are some reasons experts recommend dynamic pre-workout stretches and why you need to include them.
- Closely resemble athletic movements and exercises
- Increases core body temperature
- Improves the speed of nervous system activity
- Enhanced ability to stretch muscles
- Accelerates energy production
Dynamic stretches to optimize the benefits of exercise
The best pre-workout stretches will likely remind you of gym class warm-ups. You may even hear your gym teacher say, “Start slow and build gradually as the body loosens up.” Believe it or not, this advice is still valid today.
Working through the stiffness and soreness by increasing the speed and intensity of these dynamic movements will enhance the body’s responsiveness to your exercise routine. Let’s warm up.
- Arm circles. Reach the arms out to the sides and begin making small arm circles forward. As the shoulders begin to loosen up, make the movement faster and bigger. Once the shoulders feel loose, stop and go in the other direction.
- Trunk twists. Standing up tall with the arms out to the side, gently twist the body to one side until it is met with resistance, then pause. Now repeat the same movement in the other direction. This should feel good, so listen to the body and increase the speed and range of the movement.
- Hip circles. This dynamic movement will bring back memories of hula hooping. With the feet about shoulder-width apart, begin the movement by pushing the hips forward and continuing in a circular direction, gradually increasing the speed and range as the body responds.
- Toe touches. Begin by raising the arms overhead and slowly fold from the waist, reaching for the toes. With a slight bend in the knees, return to standing and then repeat. This movement is part of an essential yoga flow referred to as sun salutations, that works to prepare the body for what’s to come later.
- High knee. Now it is time to go back to grade school and run in place. Start with a light jog trying the knees above the waist. As the lower body begins to loosen up, move to a running pace, trying to bring the knees as high as the body will allow.
- Butt kicks. Before kicking butt in the gym, begin by literally kicking your butt by running in place trying to touch the back of the foot to the buttocks. As the front of the thighs warm up, the movement will become easier and will make the gym routine more effective.
- High kicks. It is time to channel the inner dancer. Begin by bringing your arms in front of you. With a straight leg, kick the leg up touching the hand in front. Slowly increase the speed and height of the kick to loosen up the back of the legs.
- Dynamic squats. This warm-up is just like resistance squats with one difference – a small bounce at the end of the movement. Begin with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart and squat as low as the body with allow, gently bouncing at the bottom of the movement. Repeat several times to activate the body’s muscles for an explosive exercise routine. For those advanced individuals, you could try a jump squat.
- Lunge with a twist. This whole-body dynamic stretch will alleviate any sensations of stiffness. Start standing and take a large lunge step forward. Slowly lower the body as if you were taking a knee but don’t touch the ground. At the bottom of the movement, rotate your body to the same side of the front leg. Now return to the start and repeat on the other side. For anyone up for the challenge, try to do this while you are walking.
- Jumping jacks. This fundamental gym class exercise is the final touch needed to increase the body’s heart rate and temperature. From a standing position, jump and kick the legs outward while raising your arms to the sides up over your head, then return to the starting position. One minute of jumping jacks is all it takes.
Say goodbye to stiffness and soreness
A single session of dynamic warm-ups is all it will take to feel the difference in the body’s performance. Even though a dynamic warm-up is the most effective way to prepare the body for an exercise routine, there is no evidence that it can help to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.
Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS for short, is a natural response to exercise. As the body repairs itself from the last gym routine, the physiological response to repair the muscles from hard work causes muscle stiffness and soreness.
Unfortunately, this process is unavoidable, but there is scientific evidence that collagen helps to reduce DOMS to help the body recover for the next training session. There is also evidence that a hydrolyzed collagen supplement contains biologically active peptides that can protect the body’s joints from damage.
Frog Fuel, the ideal exercise companion
Currently, there is no shortage of collagen supplements available, but not all collagen supplements are created equal. In this competitive marketplace, Frog Fuel has built a solid reputation and is emerging as the leader in collagen protein. In fact, it was recently awarded the title of best pre-workout protein supplement.
Frog Fuel began in the medical field, creating a collagen protein capable of accelerating wound healing. The masterminds behind Frog Fuel’s products are two former Navy SEALs who were tired of losing valuable training time while recovering from injuries. In response, they committed themselves to developing the most powerful protein available that is capable of building muscles while repairing the body’s connective tissues.
The end result is a convenient one-ounce shot of nano-hydolyzed collagen protein that is fully absorbed into the body within 15 minutes. This rapid absorption quickly facilitates the body’s repair process so you can be ready for the next training session sooner. Frog Fuel’s products are used by elite athletes like Victor Morales Jr, who credits Frog Fuel as an important “staple” fueling his 15-0-1 professional record.
Start better, finish stronger
Although exercise science is a complicated and ever-evolving field, the secret to better workouts and better results starts with a better pre-workout routine. Follow the science by including a dynamic warm-up for your pre-workout stretches and you will start better and finish stronger. After finishing strong, a collagen protein supplement can help the body recover faster so you won’t be stiff and sore for your next workout.
For further reading:
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review.
National Library of Medicine. The Effectiveness of Post-exercise Stretching in Short-Term and Delayed Recovery of Strength, Range of Motion and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
American College of Sports Medicine. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
Yahoo Finance. Frog Fuel Receives Award For Best Pre-Workout Protein Supplement.
Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.
Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.