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stretching



Saturday Morning Drill: Post-Workout Stretching

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re stressing the importance of stretching. While it’s important to warm up before a workout, many people don’t realize you should actually save the stretching for after the workout.

Stretching is not recommended before a workout because your muscles are prone to injury when they’re cold, which temporarily slows muscle activation. In order to warm up the muscles sufficiently perform at least three to five minutes of cardiovascular activity such as running in place or jumping jacks. Then, stretch after your workout is complete.

Even for those who take the time to stretch after a workout, it’s not uncommon to rush through the movements and thus forgo reaping the full benefits of the stretch. But proper stretching should be completed after a workout because muscles tighten and shorten during exercise. By stretching them afterwards you help the muscle both length and restore. Other stretching benefits include increased flexibility, improved circulation, improved balance and coordination, decreased lower back pain and increased energy levels.

A proper stretch should be completed one to three times, holding each stretch for 10-60 seconds. Remember, you should be in control of the stretch by focusing on performing it slowly. Listen to your body – each movement should be held at a mild tension but not to the point of pain.

To get your heart rate up, try our fall Pumpkin Workout. Start by warming up with some cardio, performing the strength training exercises, and end with these beneficial stretches. 

Also Read:

7 Tips for Eliminating Muscle Soreness

Sneaky Ways to Squeeze in Stretching

Stretching is Essential for Runners



Top Marathon Runner Questions Answered by Experts in Fitness, Nutrition, and Stretching

We asked fans of the Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon Facebook page to post their biggest running questions. We received several great questions as these runners prepare for their half and full marathons on October 14. We have collected the best questions and better yet, gathered the best answers from our team of experts, which include Mary Hartley, RD for nutrition, Holly Perkins for fitness, Dr. Josh Umbehr for fitness and nutrition, and Jill Lawson for stretching.

These runner questions were so great and so common that any runner could benefit from hearing these expert answers.

Digestion issues, sore muscles, stretching inquiries, and diet conundrums were just a few of the topics we were able to cover. If you’ve ever had a running question, chances are it’s answered by clicking below.

View Marathon Runner Top Questions Slideshow



Beginner’s Guide to Foam Rolling

The first time I heard the term ‘foam rolling,’ I thought it was some kind of tantric act practiced in far-off Eastern cultures. Come to find out, it’s a deep stretching method used by frequent runners. Hmm, guess I was way off. 

To channel my inner running addict and discover everything I need to know about this foam rolling practice, I’ve summoned the help of one of the fitness industry’s foremost running experts: ExerciseTV celebrity trainer and New Balance Fitness Ambassador, Holly Perkins.
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How to Stretch Your Glutes and Hamstrings for Fitter Summer Traveling

Are you traveling during summer vacation? Probably so.

Do you stretch on these trips? You can guess the answer to this is usually NO!!

Personally, I travel at least twice a month and I use these two following stretches all of the time to open my tight hips and lengthen my hamstrings after hours of sitting.

It’s important to remember excessive amounts of sitting may cause lower back pain from shortened hip flexors that can pull the pelvis forward resulting in discomfort. Also, sitting will place increased amount of pressure on the spine compared to standing or lying down.

Here’s a simple solution that will keep you feeling good as you take on all of the adventures and activity in your vacation itinerary.

Hamstring Stretch


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Paul Grilley’s Yin Yoga Supports Joint Health

Vigorous exercise has the potential to add unnecessary wear and tear on the joints of the body. While weight bearing exercises are a must to keep bones strong and healthy, sometimes our knees, hips, and spine can take a beating if we don’t find balance with some gentle activity.

Ancient Taoists refer to certain types of exercises or super-active behaviors as Yang, known as the energetic life force that facilitates change, growth, and get-up-and-go for the mind and the body. Yang exercises include running, high-impact aerobics, weightlifting, and even certain styles of yoga such as Ashtanga or power vinyasa.

It is surprising that yoga is referred to as a Yang activity, but many styles require a high level of vim and vigor to practice. Sometimes, as a result of pushing, striving, and working too hard in yoga, injuries can incur and joints can be compromised. Even a yoga class must be balanced out with some slower moving and deeply relaxing activity.
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