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Stretch

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Dare you to... STRETCH!  I don't just mean after a workout, and I definitely don't mean before a workout (before a workout, do dynamic stretching!).  Today, I'm talking about stretching for stretching's sake, stretching on a recovery day, stretching to feel good!

Last week, I neglected my sleep in favor of broadway shows and visiting family.  Undoubtedly connected, this week, I got hit with something that left me with a cold, a very sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.  I wanted to rest and recover before it got worse, not stress my body even more.  Instead of working out, I turned to stretch…

Dynamic stretching

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I first heard the expression "dynamic stretching" early on in my fitness career, back when my only workout was a Jillian Michaels video, viewed for free on Exercise TV On Demand.  My limited exercise experience before that included playing soccer and softball, as well as gym class's dreaded Mile and occasional weight room rotations.  Suffice it to say, I didn't know much.

What Jillian Michaels taught me in her 30 Day Shred was that we warm up the body with movement, throughdynamic stretching.  That is, we open up our joints and wake up our muscles by moving our bodies through a range of motion, rather than holding a static stretch (like those we did in gym class) before our workout begins.  Save those static stretches--holding a pose over many seconds or longer--for when the workout is complete.

I still hear Jillian's voice like it was just yesterday...  Here's an example from a different, more recent video of hers, but the idea is the same:


You get the idea.