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Advice on Warming Up Versus Stretching Before Your Workout


September 26, 2018

For most people, when they hear the terms “stretching” and “warming up” they consider them to be the same thing. But the fact is that they are two different things that serve two different purposes for your body. When it comes to your workout, both are important and should be a part of your routine. Let’s take a look at how a Cheyenne, WY physical therapist defines the two and explains when it is appropriate for both in your training program.

The Difference Between Stretching and Warming Up

Warming up is the act of increasing your core temperature and getting blood to flow to your muscles. Stretching is designed to help increase your flexibility as well as your range of motion. Warming up should be done before your workout whereas stretching should be done afterward—or when you body is already warm.
Read what the experts at Fitness Magazine have to say about getting your body warmed up prior to a workout in this article: The 5-Minute Warm-Up You Need Before Any Workout.

The Benefits of Stretching and Warming Up

Warming up—When you warm up before working out, you increase your heart rate, which means your muscles get more blood and oxygen. It also raises your body temperature so that your muscles and tendons will work better during strenuous exercise. If you have any tightness in your muscles before working out, a warmup will help decrease that. It will also improve your range of motion.
Most experts recommend that you warm up the muscles you plan to focus on during your workout. For instance, if you are at the gym to do back squats, air squats should be part of your pre-workout warmup routine.
Stretching—It’s best to stretch when your body is already warmed up, so it often makes the most sense to stretch after your workout rather than before. Stretching will help increase flexibility, which can decrease your chance of feeling pain—after a workout or on a daily basis. Stretching one part of the body often impacts another part. For example, if you stretch the hamstring area regularly, this can lessen the chance that you’ll have a sore back from sitting at a computer all day. 
Whether you are a serious athlete or a weekend warrior, injury prevention means that you can enjoy your activities rather than sit on the bench. Be sure to warm up and stretch every time you work out.
Find out more about the importance of stretching and warming up, as well as Sportsmetrics, which is a scientifically proven program designed to help prevent serious knee injuries, by contacting our office.
If you have suffered an injury and want to add physical therapy to your routine, North Platte is your go-to local physical therapist in Cheyenne, WY to provide the services that will get you feeling better and stronger. Our expert staff is respected throughout the Wyoming and Nebraska areas for providing superior and customized physical therapy services. We can handle any of your physical therapy needs. Fill out our contact form to get started and to find a location near you.