Stretching Before A Workout

My name is Dale Nelson and I work with busy business guys on improving their health, fitness and nutrition to improve their work performance. So the question that I have here is, do I need to stretch before a workout? Stretch in the conventional sense where you’re kind of sitting on the floor and reaching toward your feet, so they’re called isometric stretches.

So where you stretch and hold. So you lock into a position and you breath and hold for 30 seconds or thereabout. Those sort of things have been shown there is a mild benefit, but there’s no real benefit to your workout doing isometric holds or pull stretches like touching your toes and things like that. Don’t really seem to carry through into a strength based training program. Activation and warming up those muscles, and priming those muscles, warming up, and just kind of moving through full ranges of motion will have a better transfer into your exercises.

So, practicing squat holds without a bar, moving through different angles of the hips, and practicing with a band entering into different angles, making sure that you’re really opening up the hips, but also engaging through the core, building up stability through the hips, things like that. The same thing with the shoulders. You’re really trying to engage the back, stretch through the chest, building up that support there. So, in terms of do you need to stretch before a workout?

Something is better than nothing, but isometric stretches will not have the same transfer that activation and mobility drills will. So, making sure that you’re opening up the posture and making sure that you’re activating the opposite muscles. So, if you spend all day slouched, you want to activate the back muscles to really open up that posture, so making sure that they’re nice and warm, and then practicing or mimicking those same movement pathways that you’re about to do.

so, if you’re about to do a big bench, make sure you go and do some pushups, get those chest muscles nice and warm. If you’re about to do chin ups, then stretching out through the lats making sure that you get into that nice overhead posture with that full range of motion in the shoulder before you go and tighten up through the lats, because lats are going to roll, you want to make sure you’re nice and open, and then also making sure those hips are nice and warm.

So, moving through different plains, practicing going into different depths, and making sure that everything is nice and warm, but also activated, controlled, and that will have a better transfer than simply sitting on the ground, trying to touch your toes with standard isometric stretches.

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