Five Stretches to Prepare for Your Workout

by Callum Allan on Dec 15, 2022

Five Stretches to Prepare for Your Workout

Stretching is an important part of any workout routine. Not only does stretching help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury, but it can also help boost your performance in the gym. Before starting a workout, it’s important to take a few minutes to warm up and stretch your muscles. Here are five stretches you should do before your next workout. 

Foam Rolling 

Foam rolling is an effective way to loosen tight muscles and prepare them for exercise. This form of self-massage increases blood flow to the muscle, which can help you perform better during your workout. To foam roll, simply place a foam roller on the ground and roll your body over it, focusing on areas that feel particularly tight or sore. Hold each spot for 10–30 seconds before moving on to the next area. 


Dynamic Stretching 

Dynamic stretching involves moving through specific ranges of motion repeatedly and gradually increasing the range as you go along. This type of stretching helps increase core temperature and heart rate while preparing your muscles for activity. Examples of dynamic stretches include arm circles, trunk twists, leg swings, and lunge walks. 


Static Stretching 

Static stretching involves holding a stretch in one position for 10-30 seconds at a time without bouncing or jerking motions. This type of stretching helps improve flexibility while reducing tension in the muscles. Examples of static stretches include hamstring stretches, quadriceps stretches, calf stretches, and chest/shoulder stretches.    


Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Stretching 

PNF stretching combines static stretching with isometric contractions and relaxation techniques to improve range-of-motion even further than regular static stretching alone can accomplish. PNF techniques require a partner who will apply pressure against your body as you attempt to resist their force with an isometric contraction (i.e., pushing against their resistance without actually moving). After 8-10 seconds you relax into the stretch while they continue applying pressure until you reach a full range of motion in that particular stretch. 


Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) 

AIS is similar to PNF in that it combines static stretching with active movements but differs in that each stretch is held only briefly (1–2 seconds) before relaxing into another movement then repeating the cycle 2–3 times per stretch before switching sides or moving onto another area entirely. AIS works best when done slowly with minimal bouncing or jerking motions that can lead to injury if done improperly so make sure to practice this technique carefully with guidance from an experienced coach if necessary! 



No matter what type of exercise you’re doing—lifting weights at the gym or running outdoors—it’s important to take a few minutes before starting your workout to warm up and stretch out your muscles properly! Incorporating foam rolling, dynamic stretching, static stretching, PNF stretches, and AIS into your pre-workout routine will help prepare your body for exercise while reducing the risk of injury in the process. So make sure not to skip out on those vital few minutes; they could very well be what stands between you having an awesome workout versus ending up sidelined due to muscle strain!