You know those stretches your personal trainer makes you do before starting your workout routine? That part of your training where you sit there putting your body in random, uncomfortable positions wondering, why you are paying for this—when all you want to do is lift. Well, stretching is actually just as important as your actual workout.
Think of stretching as the same as warming up your car before driving off in the cold northeastern weather. Your car does not perform as well if you were just to put in the key and take off. It accelerates a little slower and seems to be having just a hard time operating in general. This is the same with your body.
Most of us spend most our day sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen then we go into the gym and want to start slamming weights around. Your muscles are not really being used most of the day and actually tend to become tense. This is due to lactic acid building up in your muscles. The best way to eliminate this is by stretching.
Increasing flow of oxygen and flexibility is another huge plus for lifters. This will dramatically
impact your ability to lift. This will not only leave your body more vulnerable to injury, but if your body is tight and you have poor oxygen flowing through your veins, it will impact your ability to properly perform your exercises.
Of course, this is something no lifter wants. That is because this will directly affect your muscle gains. Your body needs to be flexible and loose so your body can move properly for your exercise while properly engaging the muscles that are needed. You will even start to find exercises such as squatting and bench presses to be easier if your body is properly loose before you perform them.
The same goes for the oxygen flow, if oxygen is not properly flowing through your body, you will not have the endurance that you need. Leaving you completely gassed after just a few exercises. Imagine not being able to push your body to its fullest potential all because you didn’t take the 10 minutes to stretch before lifting.
Stretching also helps improve your mood. If you had a stressful day at work and you do not really feel like working out but you have an appointment with your personal trainer stretching will actually help you alleviate this stress by releasing endorphins. So stretching does not only help with muscle tension, but it will also help with being mentally tense as well.
So the next time your personal trainer is making you do stretches before your workout, remember that they are preparing your body not only physically, but mentally to perform at its peak.