Stretch It OutStretching can be a very healthy, low-impact way to keep your body active and flexible.
February 29,2012 12:00 AM
It is good to get in the habit of stretching every day, especially before and after strenuous exercise. This not only will help increase muscle performance, but when done properly can also reduce injuries.
There are great toning benefits to stretching as well. Activating muscles, especially muscles that may not be used often in day-to-day life, and encouraging good breathing techniques is a good habit for anyone.
Runners know the importance of stretching. The stress they put on their muscles, particularly leg muscles, can be dangerous if they do not take the proper precautions.
Stretching creates flexibility, which is, in essence, a wider array of comfortable body movement ranges. When running uphill, for instance, the muscles will be pushing more strenuously at an extended angle and therefore, an increase in flexibility can improve performance during demanding hill workouts.
Other benefits of stretching include:
- Muscles that are warm and loose
- Better blood flow to muscles
- Reduction of soreness by removing lactic acid from the muscles
- Increased range of motion for better endurance
- Less muscle fatigue
When stretching, you’re going to need a few essentials. Many runners fear certain stretches like the plague because they are worried that their shorts may not provide enough coverage to certain, ahem, unmentionable areas. At Run.com, we know how embarrassing it can be when your shorts just don’t seem to cut it. For those stretches that can put you in a compromising position the Nike Tech Tight Short is a great option. These shorts are not your classic, loose running shorts, but are actually made to fit very close to the body and the fabric is designed with a combination of Nike DRI-Fit and spandex for a truly comfortable pair of shorts that won’t ride up.
The Nike Legend Slim Fit Women’s Capri Pants are also ideal for stretching and moving however you need to, as they are made with a waistband that has an upward tilt at the back for supreme coverage.
The Nike Essential 7” Men’s Running Shorts are also great for any man that wants to avoid showing all of his business while stretching! Built-in briefs offer lightweight support and the ultimate in comfort so that you can feel confident everything is where it should be while stretching and running!
The CW-X Pro Men’s Compression Shorts also have a slim fit to keep everything in place during running and stretching. They also provide muscular support for sports with linear movements, helping to reduce muscle fatigue and increase circulation, which can really boost performance when combined with a quality stretching routine.
At Run.com, we know that many runners are divided on the subject of stretching. “Old School” runners often believe that stretching, especially before running, is not necessary. Of course, stretching is a personal choice for any runner out there, but learning all of the benefits can help you to better identify whether stretching before or after running is right for you.