Stretching before a workout comes intuitively to nearly all athletes – but you may want to incorporate static stretching afterward, too.
Many fitness experts and personal trainers have agreed on what type of stretching is best, and when. The consensus is that dynamic stretching, or continuous movement, is best before a workout. Static stretching, or stretches with no movement, are beneficial after a workout.
After you’re done breaking a sweat with your workout, static stretching should be a priority. Here’s a breakdown of what it is, why you need it, and how the Stretch Wedges can help you achieve maximum stretch:
What is static stretching?
Static stretching is basically any stretch you can do standing or sitting still. Think toe touches, butterflies, or arm pulls. These stretches are usually held for about 30 seconds to a minute. The position you hold for that amount of time should be challenging, yet shouldn’t cause you severe discomfort.
While static stretching is calm and typically relaxing, dynamic stretching can often include a mini-workout in itself. Before exercise, your body needs an explosive warm-up to get its blood pumping and its muscles ready to contract, like how a car engine needs to start before you can drive. However, after exercise, your body needs to cool down and return to its regular heart rate, which is where static stretching comes into play.
Why you should try stretching after your workout
- Quicker recovery time. Static stretching after a workout slows your blood pressure during a stretch, and speeds it up right after. According to Science for Sport, this effect “may facilitate recovery by improving delivery of nutrients whilst simultaneously removing metabolites.” Stretching after (along with before) exercise has shown less muscle soreness.
- Improved flexibility. If you consistently (and correctly) perform static stretching, you can actually enhance your range of motion. This will make all your future workouts more efficient and more importantly, safer. One study showed that static stretching is twice as effective in improving flexibility than dynamic stretching.
- There’s no better time. After a workout is when your muscles are most elastic and pliable. Therefore, stretching during that time can help your body in many more ways than stretching before. Static stretching before rather than after a workout can actually hurt your athletic performance. Afterward however, stretching can increase power and speed and also reduce injury.
How the Stretch Wedge can assist your static stretching
While static stretching with just your body is possible, the Stretch Wedge can deepen nearly any static stretch you perform, especially for people who aren’t very flexible. Designed to challenge your muscles from new angles with its physio-engineered contour, the Stretch Wedge is a must-have for any stretching or yoga routine. After workouts, you can give your muscles the deep recovery they need with the only stretching tool of its kind. Stretching is just as important for your muscles as the actual workout, so it goes a long way to have the right stretching equipment by your side. For your workout portion, try using the Workout Wedges or Wedge Ledges for your next lifting, functional, HIIT, or CrossFit workout.
With a versatile fitness prop like the Stretch Wedges, you can perform dozens of static stretches after your workout. Whether it’s at home, at the gym, or outdoors, static stretching serves a whole new world of benefits with this proven and tested technology and non-slip bottom. Check out our Instagram and 100 Ways to Wedge for more stretching ideas to include after your workout.