This post is full of the best stretches for after workout!
Stretching after your workouts is insanely beneficial to your overall health, as well as your fitness. You will be able to do more in the gym, with more ease, if you stretch regularly. Stretching will also give you more mobility which means you will be able to lift heavier weights more safely.
But that’s only the beginning of the benefits of stretching after a workout!
As a NASM Personal Trainer and athlete, I have seen the stretching after workout benefits in both my clients and myself. No doubt, your body will 100% thank you for taking the time to stretch!
Keep reading to learn the best post workout stretches that your body NEEDS. 💪🏼
Enjoy these stretches for after workout.
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Best Stretches for After Workout
Pre Workout Stretches vs. Post Workout Stretches
Dynamic stretches = for pre workout
Static stretches = post workout
First, let’s discuss the difference between post-workout stretches and pre-workout stretches.
Pre-workout, you only want to do stretches that are held for 30 seconds or less. These are known as dynamic stretches. The reason being is because you are about to use your muscles to lift weight (whether that be actual weights or your bodyweight.) And when you hold stretches for longer than 30 seconds, you can eliminate some of the force and power you’ll need to complete your exercises.
Think of it this way, if you were to stretch out a rubber band too much, it wouldn’t be able to do it’s job of holding whatever you want together. Your body works similarly.
The short, dynamic stretches you want to do post-workout are things like short spurts of upward/downward dog, quick calf stretches, cat-cow, etc.
Now, post-workout, is the time for static stretching. Static stretches are the stretches you hold for over 30 seconds. The next few sections are full of these!
Post Workout Stretches: Upper Body
If you’ve worked your arms, chest, shoulders, or back… These are the perfect post workout stretches (upper body) for you! You will need a resistance band for some of these stretches!
Arm Stretches for After Workout
Forearm stretch (fast forward video to 1:25)
Back and Shoulder Stretches for After Workout
Chest Stretches for After Workout
Anterior pathway stretch (really good for a sore chest!)
Post Workout Stretches: Lower Body
Leg Stretches for After Workout
These are the best post workout stretches for your lower body!
Post Workout Stretches: Core
Try out these post workout stretches for your core/abs! This will help you elongate your abs, instead of them becoming quite so bulky.
Stretching After Workout Benefits
There are countless benefits to stretching after a workout! Let’s check them out.
What Happens if I Stretch Everyday?
Stretching everyday has nothing but positive benefits for your fitness! It’s going to help you:
- Have better mobility and move with more ease.
- Increase your range of motion in your workouts and daily activities.
- Improve your performance in your workouts and daily activities.
- Reduce your risk of injuries.
- Increase muscle blood flow.
- Make you feel better!
Does Stretching After a Workout Increase Muscle?
Stretching after weight lifting doesn’t necessarily increase muscle mass. However, it will elongate your muscles which helps them grow more efficiently when you perform weightlifting exercises.
Does Stretching Burn Calories?
Any type of movement in life burns calories… Even breathing while you sleep! However, if you’re looking to burn a decent amount of calories for fat loss, stretching doesn’t need to be your main focus. Exercise in a way where your heart rate elevates in order to burn more calories!
Post-Workout Stretching Q&A
Is it Necessary to Stretch After a Workout?
The answer to this question depends on your priorities. If you want to recover well and be able to do more in the gym, you need to stretch after you workout.
However, you’re not going to not get results if you don’t stretch.
With that being said, it is HIGHLY recommended to stretch for at least a few minutes after exercise. Another good habit to get in is to spend about 15 minutes stretching on your rest days from the gym.
How Long After Gym Should You Stretch?
This really depends on how much time you have. As with anything in life, consistency is key. So pick an amount of time that you can stick with consistently and do it regularly.
For example, it would be much better for you to spend 3 minutes stretching each day than to strive for a bigger goal like 30 minutes per day and only end up actually doing it every other week.
Think about how much time you realistically have to spend stretching on a regular basis and plan your routine around that.
Should I Stretch if I’m Sore?
100%, you should stretch if you’re sore. DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is extremely common and one of the main ways to work through it is by stretching.
Follow the stretches for after workout in the list above and you’ll be good to go!
Can I Stretch 3 Times a Day?
You really can’t stretch too much, just make sure you’re not stretching to the point of pulling a muscle. Also, you don’t want to do any static stretches before your workouts.
Is it Better to Stretch Before or After Lifting Weights?
Stretching before and after your workouts are both mutually beneficial. You just don’t want to hold your stretches for more than about 30 seconds before your workouts because it will reduce some of the power your muscles need to exert during your workout.
The best stretches to do before your workout are dynamic stretches that you hold and move through for 30 seconds or less.
How Long Should I Hold a Stretch?
For pre-workout stretching, hold your stretches about 30 seconds or less.
For post-workout stretching, hold your stretches for at least a minute! With each minute of holding your stretch, your muscles will start to release. And little by little, you will start to become more mobile and flexible!
This post was all about stretches for after workout.