Whether you’re a pro athlete, a gym rat or someone who’s looking for a new workout, one of the biggest blind spots a lot of people have in their routines is the importance of stretching. Now, I know that for some people—especially guys that I’ve worked out with, competed against or trained—the idea of stretching is kind of a pain in the butt.
Maybe they think of the old touch-the-toes routine in middle school gym class, or maybe they just don’t want to take the time to go through the motions after they’ve already spent so much energy itself. No matter the reason, though, it’s really, really important to make sure that stretching is always a part of your workout program. It’s a great way to avoid injury, and to give your muscles a better chance at quick recovery.
There are a lot of different approaches to stretching, and every athlete’s flexibility ranges quite a bit. If you’re the kind of athlete who isn’t really concerned with how limber you are, that’s fine, but you probably want to make sure that you’re taking all the steps to ensure that you’ll be in good enough shape to participate in the sports and activities you love for years to come. I’m not saying that we all have hidden yogis inside of us (though as far as yoga goes, you’d be surprised how great of a workout it can actually be if you haven’t already discovered that for yourself).
As a guy who used to get beat up for a living, I can promise you that recovering from injuries is absolutely no fun, and if there’s anything you can do to ensure that you can avoid it in the first place, you should definitely pursue it. Say you love to spin or practice crossfit or run, chances are you won’t have to worry about taking jabs to the face or ribs or block a roundhouse kick, but the threat of getting hurt still looms large over sore muscles and tendons that are being overworked but not relieved when the workout’s over.
If you’re a member of a gym, you might want to consider working with a trainer—even for just one session—to get a better idea of how stretching after every exercise can keep you healthy and maintain the fitness levels you’ve set for yourself. If you’re more of a lone wolf when it comes to making your miles or pumping the weights, you can easily do a quick Internet search to come up with a stretching routine that works for you.
Another thing that can help avoid injuries, aside from stretching of course, is shortening the length of your workouts by making them more efficient. Think about it: if you could cut down your time at the gym by 30% and still get a grueling cardiovascular workout, then you’re limiting the time you’re exposing yourself to potential injuries. Lucky for you, I’ve got just the thing to suggest.
Adding theO2 Trainerto your routines can boost your endurance and make sure that you’re not grinding away at your knees for unnecessary lengths of time. Paired with healthy exercise and proper cool down techniques, you’ll be able to keep getting to the next level with your workouts while making sure that you’re also protecting your body from excess wear and tear. Try it out for yourself, and you’ll quickly discover that a small, simple innovation can make a world of difference in your everyday life.
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