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Fitness Fundamentals: Stretching

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Stretching. We all know we should do it, but it’s just so easy to skip the stretching after the warm up and at the end of a grueling session at the gym. We usually think “no pain, no gain” and stretching feels too good to be of any real benefit right? Wrong! Stretching can make daily activities so much easier and actually helps to prevent injury during exercise. It is a fundamental way to improve your overall health and fitness and will prepare the muscles for exercise and decrease the chances of injury.

Adding a regular stretching program into your exercise routine will:

  • Decrease muscle pain and soreness after exercise
  • Improve circulation
  • Increase your range of motion
  • Improve your posture
  • Relieve tension and stress
  • Give you a chance to focus your attention for your exercise routine

Stretches are either dynamic, meaning they involve motion, or are static, meaning they involve no motion. Dynamic stretching affects dynamic flexibility and static stretching affects static flexibility. There are 7 different types of stretching and they are as follows:

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