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When to Stretch in Your Workout

Stretch Before or After Cardio?


Flexibility training is so often forgotten as an important element of any workout. You might be neglecting stretching because you're uncertain if you should stretch before or after cardio. Is it part of a warmup or a cooldown? While I am definitely an advocate for stretching, it is not the best way to warm up before going on a run or bike ride. Studies show that stretching won't prevent injuries, and if you stretch muscles before they're warmed up, you have a greater chance of tearing one. The best tactic is to warm up for cardio by doing a lighter version of it. So if you're going for a run, walk briskly or jog slowly for five minutes. Or try a dynamic warmup. After your workout, definitely take time to stretch. It will increase flexibility, which decreases your risk of injury. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, don't bounce, and don't push yourself in a stretch to the point of feeling pain. If you want to know what some of my favorite post-workout stretches are then read more.

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