Why Is Stretching So Important?

Fitness // Gabi Bruce // 28 April 2016

Let’s be honest, stretching is often the part of our training session that often gets swept to the side, or squished in for a few scant seconds at the end of our session. But in truth, we really should set aside time in every workout for a sizeable stretch because of the benefits it brings us.

Benefits of Stretching

  • Stretching increases our flexibility (the range of motion, or ROM, of our muscles)
  • Which in turn increases our mobility (the ROM of our joints)

Think of it this way – stretching keeps us moving freely and easily rather than becoming stiff, static and stuck!

When Should We Stretch?

Before a Workout

The latest research tells us that for minimizing injury risk, we should not stretch significantly at the start of a training session. Instead, we should focus on just juicing up the muscles and joints enough to be ready for the working loads we’ll put on them through the workout itself.

That means spending a few minutes gently moving through the actions we’ll be performing during our session. For example:

  • Leg swings and knee hugs prior to running
  • Full body rotations before teeing off for golf
  • Shoulder rolls before swimming laps

After a Workout

At the end of our workout session (when the loads and stresses on our bodies are done and dusted) is the time to really settle into significant stretching, in order to keep super supple! It’s a great time to move into and hold the fullest range of the muscles we worked during our session, in all the directions that they can move through.

This will ensure our muscles don’t overly tighten and seize, which in turn will keep our range of motion across our joints. At the end of our workouts is also the time when we tend to be fatigued and more open to chilling out and holding positions for longer – added bonus!

All 12WBT Fitness Programs have specific warm ups at the start of each workout, designed to stretch you sufficiently to train safely, and specific warm downs at the end of each workout designed to stretch you away from stiffness. Plus every program has at least 1 day per week where the main focus is stretching – so rest assured when you train with 12WBT, you’re in safe hands!

Stretching & Mobility Videos

Check out the videos below for mobilizing sequences that can be done either at the start and/or end of your workout.

Hip Mobility


Shoulders and Back Mobility


Hip, Shoulders and Back Mobility

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jenny Reply

    Im a diabetic type 2. I have knees which are experiencing pain
    What type of exercises will be suitable

    1. Leila Nemra Reply

      Hi Jenny – Before we recommend exercises for you to do, I would definitely suggest speaking to a medical professional first and foremost. They will be the best people to suggest what you should and shouldn’t do.

      Please feel free to email us directly at support@12wbtsupport.com and we’d be more than happy to talk to you about the variety of programs we have on offer. :)

      All the best,
      Leila
      12WBT Support Crew

  2. Fay Dunn Reply

    I could not start your last 12 WBT and going away in mid July SO??? what can I do ?? I have had 2 total knee replacements 3 years ago and have let my fitness level go right down and have weight grain so I would be a real challenge for any program but If you think I would not be wasting yours and my time would love to see what you come up with FAY DUNN

    1. Leila Nemra Reply

      Hi Fay – First off, with any program we recommend that you get the ‘ok’ from your medical team before joining. They can also provide you with recommendations on what exercises are safe to do, and which ones to avoid! We then encourage you to modify your workouts in line with these recommendations to ensure that your fitness/strength/flexibility gains are achieved safely. The good news is that as weight loss is 80% nutrition, 20% exercise, then you can still get great results even when you are unable to exercise as you’d like to! We have a number of members with knee issues join us each round, and with modifications (e.g. bigger focus on core and upper body work while incorporating swimming, cycling, CrossTrainer, etc. instead of walking, running, or lunging), they’re still smashing their goals! As 12WBT is delivered completely online, you can follow it anywhere you have a reliable internet connection. If travelling will make it all too difficult however, our ‘always on’ Voome program might be the better option for you right now. It is just $6.99 per week (recipes AND workouts), NO contract (come and go as you please), and the first week is free! Check out more details here: https://www.voome.com.au/ We’d love to help you get back on track.

      Hope to have you on board soon!

      Leila
      12WBT Support Crew

Contact Us directly if you have a specific question.

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