I would love to write this and tell you all about how important stretching is and how much time I allocate for stretching, but I am terrible when it comes to stretching. So I write this to inform readers and myself on the importance of stretching and warming up before any strenuous training.
The simple fact is that warming up initially elevates the heart rate and increases blood flow and the transport of oxygen around the body. This will increase your body temperature and prepare you for stretching. Stretching then increases the circulation of oxygen and blood throughout the soft tissue. this prepares your muscles, ligaments and tendons for weight training.
The most important thing is that stretching improves your range of motion and flexibility allowing for more movement and better muscle growth and recovery. Warming up and stretching decreases the risk of injury to muscles and joints in the long run.
There is a difference between warming up and stretching. Warming up means increasing your body temperate, opening up your blood vessels, your range of motion increases and your range of hormone secretion increases. This should be done by doing light cardiovascular activity for about 10 minutes and try vary the activity from day to day. Stretching improves your range of motion, your blood circulation, and your flexibility, as well as decreasing your risk of injury. Isolate each muscle and hold stretches for anout 30 seconds. Do not jerk or bounce and stretch slowly.
These may only be simple tips however it is very often the simple things that are the most important. At the risk of sounding cliched you need a strong foundation to grow and build. Start with the basics. Even myself will try from tomorrow to do some more stretching even if it is only 2 minutes the first day. Everything starts somewhere. So lets start here.