Advertisement

The Best Time to Stretch

The Best Time to Stretch

Most people agree that stretching is good for your muscles. But should you do it before or after exercise? When are you likely to reap the most benefits?

Fitness guru Tina Vindum provides a good rule of thumb in her book, Outdoor Fitness. "If something feels tight during your warm up, stretch it. Outside of that, you should stretch after workouts when muscles are warm," Vindum writes.

Stretch Safely
Stretching after a workout is "the most productive and safest time because the muscles are warm and pliable," says Vindum. She believes in stretching major muscle groups only after they've warmed up. And preferably while your heart rate is still elevated from exercise. Need a warm-up idea? Check out these reasons to act like a kid by jumping rope.

Here are three other tips from Vindum on maximizing your stretching power:

 

Warm Up Exercises Before, Cool Down Stretches After
Warm Up Exercises Before, Cool Down Stretches After
If you're a guilt-ridden exerciser who never stretches before popping that vintage Richard Simmons tape into your player, go to the head of the class....
Read More
Is stretching supposed to be painful?
Brian YeeBrian Yee
Stretching should at most be moderately uncomfortable. Many people think that stretching only target...
More Answers
How can I stretch my back, glutes and hamstrings?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
The full back stretch will help you stretch all three areas of the back (upper, middle and lower...
More Answers
The Exercise to Do for a Stress-Free Morning
The Exercise to Do for a Stress-Free Morning