Why Stretching is Important Before, During and After Sports

Phil Edwards, Physiotherapist, discusses why stretching before, during and after sports is important.

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Phil Edwards, Physiotherapist, discusses why stretching before, during and after sports is important.
Video transcript

Featuring Phil Edwards, MCPA, CMAG (Acupuncture), Physiotherapist

Duration: 1 minute, 31 seconds

A warm-up should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes, again, depending on the intensity of the activity you’re about to do.

You want to make sure that each of your muscles and soft tissues and joints have been through the appropriate range of motion for the activity you’re about to do. You should not produce sharp pain.

You should produce a discomfort of stretch, but not anything that would make you wince. You want to coax your muscles into letting go. You don’t want to force them into submission.

While muscles are obviously easier to stretch, whether you warm them up by having a hot pack, a hot shower, or a little bit of light activity; riding a bike, jogging, running in place, your muscles are then going to be a lot easier to stretch than if they’re cold.

I advise if you’re going out on a winter’s morning, spend a few minutes indoors first getting things loosened up before you get outside. In fact, if you feel the need to stretch in the middle of an activity, it’s quite likely that you haven’t warmed up properly or you’ve probably just produced a minor strain and you should check it out.

Stretching after activity is much more of a restorative activity. You want to be slow and controlled after activity. You want to be more dynamic before activity. After you’ve done all of your running around, you need to reset everything and make sure that the soft tissues reduce back to their previous range of motion.

If you’re looking for a stretching program or somebody to help you with learning how to stretch properly, then a physiotherapist is the person to see.

Presenter: Philip Edwards, Physiotherapist, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.