It’s a weeknight, you’ve finished work and headed straight to training, where you’ve slogged it out for a couple of hours with your teammates.
At the end of your session, you’re exhausted and keen to get home for dinner, to see your partner or family and to relax, so you skip your cool down and avoid stretching, only to end up sore or injured later on.
Most of us have been guilty of forgoing a post-workout stretch, thinking it’s not all that important to our body. But stretching for sport is crucial to preventing injury, as well as slowing your body down, boosting your energy levels, preventing pain & soreness, and improving your body’s range of motion.
So, before you turn down your post-workout cool down or post training session stretch, think about the below benefits of stretching for sport.
Reduce the Risk of Injury
Perhaps the most important benefit of stretching is to prevent injury – no one wants to sit on the sidelines while their teammates celebrate a big championship win!
Sports injuries can also impact other aspects of life, such as work, going on outings with your partner or your family, and even day-to-day activities.
Stretching for sport is an easy way to prevent injury both short term and long term, as stretching promotes a number of mechanisms in the body that help with muscle tension, strains and soreness, improves circulation and relaxes your body after strenuous exercise.
For more tips on preventing injury, check out our previous blog here.
Slow Down the Body
Just like it is important to warm up to get the blood flowing to your muscles more quickly and efficiently before exercise, it’s also important to slow blood flow to a more normal pace as your body returns to its regular state.
Slowing down your body also helps to slow down the release of lactic acid and eliminate any lactic acid that has accumulated during a workout,
Boost Your Energy
Whether you’re an early riser or you choose to work out later in the day, it can be hard to maintain your energy levels.
However, stretching for sport can actually help you to prolong your high energy levels post workout, empowering you to truly seize the rest of the day.
In addition to higher prolonged energy levels, stretching and cooling down the body post-workout will result in a rush of endorphins, which is the feel-good chemical we all love.
Our team at Miami Physio often recommend stretching to prevent injury as part of our patient treatments, as it is an easy way to prepare the body to both manage and recover from the pains and perils of exercise and sport.
Stretching isn’t purely reserved for post-workout, it is an important practise that people can do to minimise the effects of pain, tightened tendons and muscles, and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which generally occurs 24-48 hours post exercise.
Stretching to prevent injury should be done gently post-workout, rather than going hard on the stretches and causing further injury or pain to your muscles.
Improved Range of Motion
When a muscle has not been stretched correctly, it doesn’t perform as well as it should, leading to decreased range of motion.
However, it is important to remember to stretch after you have warmed up, as cold muscle fibres may become damaged If they are forced to stretch before getting warm.
Our team at Miami Physio can demonstrate and recommend different types of stretching techniques to complement your current workout or exercise regime, ultimately improving the range of motion you experience in the long-term.
Learn More Tips for Stretching at Miami Physio
Stretching for sport is just as important as the training you put into each session – you need to stretch effectively to help the body recover from exercise.
At Miami Physio, we believe that to manage your health and wellness, you need to understand the diagnosis we give you and be prepared to dive head first into the physiotherapy management plan we prepare for you.
As part of your plan, we will teach you about stretching to prevent injury, as well as more tailored recommendations regarding stretching for sport.
Contact Miami Physio today on 9534 4111 to book a consultation with a physio you can trust.