Stretching has long-been many people's favourite warm-up activity before working out. The truth is that low-intensity workouts are better.
Picture: Official US Navy Page/Flickr
Lifehacker Alumni Adam Dachis writes over at WonderHowTo about how stretching should actually be done after a good warm-up. Adam's interviewee, Dr Brian Parr, explains:
Stretching is not a good warm-up. Most people don't do this, but flexibility exercises should be done after a good warm-up or at the end of an exercise session.
...A good warm-up should be at least 5-10 minutes of aerobic/endurance exercise done at a lower intensity than the workout (or event or sport) that emphasises the muscles you will use. A practical recommendation is to do a whole-body exercise (rowing machine, elliptical machine, etc.) for 5-10 min before starting your workout. There are also a lot of whole-body exercises that don't involve equipment that are good alternatives.
Stretching is still helpful, but properly preparing your muscles for a workout should be the first thing you do. Slowly build the intensity of your warm-up to match that of the actual workout. Physio Advisor has a warm-up guide to help you along.
If you want to know what else Dr Parr had to say, hit the link below.