The importance of stretching: how to do it and when

As you know, I decided to entrust my preparation for the Grossglockner Ultra Trail 2019 to a professional athlete: Anne-Marie Flammersfeld from All Mountain Fitness.

As soon as I received my training schedule, what struck me the most was the words: 1-3 hours of stretching each workout. And since I follow this advice, life has changed (and training, too).

What is stretching?

Stretching is not a complement to other sports, but an independent physical activity, fundamental for maintaining flexibility and body mobility.

There are different types of stretching. The most practiced are dynamic stretching and static stretching. Today I will talk about static stretching, which is the most known. It consists of taking a certain position, different for each muscle or group of muscles and keeping it from 15 to 30 seconds.

Why should you practice stretching?

Simply because stretching keeps the joints young.

Have you ever felt rigid or limited in your movements? Ever had the feeling of tired legs or arms? If not exercised, the body is forced, with the passage of time, to movements less and less loose and wide, to more sudden fatigue and to the use of greater effort in all daily activities. The lower muscular elasticity, the reduced coordination capacity, the decrease in energy, the wear of the joints, in fact, predispose the body to a faster aging.

Stretching by involving muscles, tendons, bones and joints, promotes a global improvement in the ability to move.

Here are the benefits, and not only related to the flexibility, that this activity offers to those who practice it:

  • stretching increases the elasticity of muscles and tendons, with a global improvement in the ability to move.
  • it is an excellent form of prevention of muscle contractures
  • stretching exercises also help to decrease blood pressure by promoting circulation

How can do stretching, how and when 

Stretching can always be practiced, everywhere and by anyone. If you exercise, stretching can be performed as a pre-exercise warm-up and as post-workout cool-down.Try it!