Stretch before or after? YES
One question that pops up almost on a daily basis is, “When should I stretch? Before or after my workout?” The answer to that is “yes” on both counts.
“They say that we shouldn’t stretch before exercising!”
If you begin your exercise routine without addressing the tightness in your right hip, you will be exercising with a tight right hip! (It’s not rocket science!) You will be using that hip ineffectively compared to your “good” hip. What joints are adjacent to the hips? The lower back and pelvic joints above and the knee down below!!! So if you were to keep this pace up without addressing the imbalance as part of your warm up routine, there will most definitely be further compensations…your body will try really hard to help you out but at a certain point it will give up and say, “I’m done! Here! I’ll give you some pain in your knee to tell you to slow down. Maybe NOW you’ll listen to me” (I enjoy personifying my muscles).
Therefore a proper warm up routine should be designed to help you reduce that tight right hip so that you can exercise more effectively and efficiently! Guess what? The same should be done at the end of your routine because your hip most likely has been that way for quite some time. This way, you are slowly coercing your hip to “learn” what is expected of it. Over time, your hip will open up and match up with the left and a lot of knee and lower back pain can be virtually eliminated! (provided you identify what needs to be stretched before and after your exercise routine).
Identifying weakness and tightness is essential in your warm up routine! You do not have to stretch everything! Here are 3 key pointers:
You just need to stretch what needs to be stretched in order to rebalance your system so you can exercise with the least amount of risk of getting injured.
Stretch the tight ones first then strengthen the weaker muscles
Start your warm up routine with slower movements progressing to more dynamic movements in order to prepare your body for the task at hand
Creating an effective warm up routine should not be a challenge but it should individualized to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck!