Ellipticals

8 Expert Tips About Stretching Before Elliptical

As many of us know, elliptical trainers provide total-body, low-impact cardiovascular workouts. They help burn more calories in a shorter time. However, if you go straight on the elliptical without warming up, you can harm yourself without even knowing it!

Right before going on your elliptical trainer, your body muscles are tense and shortened. That’s why pre-workout stretches are essential.

Many trainers mistake starching and warming up. Stretching itself before exercise can weaken your muscles and worsen your overall performance. However, when done properly, stretching can increase your joints’ range of motion, flexibility, and performance. 

To get the most out of your pre-workout stretching and to avoid any muscle weakness, you need to do a light warm-up like walking or jogging. Stretching cold muscles without a warm-up can tear your muscles or cause any muscle injuries. Doing this can do you harm more than good.

Research has shown that Dynamic stretching is the best technique to be followed before sprinting on an elliptical. 

So, what is Dynamic stretching? Dynamic stretching is a series of exercises that are meant to prepare your joints and muscles for performance. This technique of stretching will enhance your joints’ motion range and improve your flexibility. That is why it is considered the best type of stretches before a workout. 

Here is why you should do dynamic stretching before hopping on your elliptical, in detail.

The benefits of pre-elliptical stretching:

  • Improves flexibility.
  • Reduces the risk of injuries.
  • Helps the joints to achieve their full range of motion.
  • Enhance your mobility for more intense workouts.
  • Allow the muscles to work to their full potential.
  • Makes you mentally prepared and motivated for a workout. 

Static stretches on the other hand are considered the best for post-workout. They are stretches you don’t have to move to Proform them. 

Static stretches are stretches in which you hold your muscles in a single static position for an amount of time for 30 to 60 sec. Whether this position is sitting, standing, or lying still. They are most important after a workout as they help you relax by releasing tension from the muscles. They also help speed up muscle recovery after a workout.

Now it is time to know how what the most effective pre-elliptical stretches are and how to Proform them.

Contents

Top 8 pre-elliptical stretches: 

Wall stretches 

These moves help stretch your calves. You can do it anytime but ideally before hopping on an elliptical. To do these stretches; place your hands an arm’s distance against a wall. Straighten your left leg and bend your right knee while pressing your heel into the ground. Stand up straight and hold the stretch for around 30 seconds until you feel a stretch at the back of your calves. Change sides and repeat the action on the other side.

Trunk rotations

These rotations Increase your blood flow while enhancing your flexibility. It also improves strength in your shoulders, legs, and core body.to Perform trunk rotations, lay on the back, bend your legs, and flatten your feet on the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades and flatten your neck to the floor then place your arms gently to your sides. Twist your body to the left while rotating your knees and maintaining your right shoulder blade and forearm flat on the floor. Hold the posture for three to five minutes before swapping sides. 

Step stretch

These stretches help with both shins and calves. Position your right foot rearward on a step, with only the ball of your foot in touch with the platform. Drive your right heel into the ground while bending your left knee. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides and continuing the workout.

pike stretch 

This move targets two different muscles; your hamstring and your calves muscles. To perform a Pike stretch, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Reach down to your toes until your hands touch the front of your toes. keep a natural back movement. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and your legs straight as you walk forward, forming an inverted “V” with your body. With your feet on the floor, hold the stretch position for 30 seconds.

If you are familiar with Yoga practices, you will find that Pike stretches are similar to the “downward dog” stretch. 

Butt kicks

Kick butts are very simple stretches to perform but have many fitness benefits. These stretches help warm up your legs’ muscles. It also helps increase the body temperature. 

Performing a butt kick is easy as 2,1,3. All you need to do is bend your knees behind you then use your legs gently to kick the back of your butt. When done properly your heel will be touching your glutes every butt kick.

You can perform them all or perform what feels more comfortable for your as long as your dynamic stretches last between 5 to 10 minutes before going on the elliptical.

Making pre-elliptical stretching a part of your fitness routine, your exercising experience will get much better. In the long run, you will notice how these stretches impact your endurance, muscles strength and overall flexibility. 

Frequently asked questions: 

Static stretching Vs. dynamic stretching, what is the difference? 

Movement. Static stretching is about holding your muscle in one position for a certain amount of time up to 60 seconds when you are in a stationary position (Standing, sitting, or lying).

Dynamic stretching is all about movement, it is a series of moves you perform to make your muscle ready for performance.

Fitness experts recommend Static stretching after your workout and dynamic stretching is better performed before your workout activity.

How long should I warm up before elliptical?

Ideally, you should warm up for about 5 to 15 minutes before hopping on your elliptical. 

Which is better: post or pre-workout stretching?

Both post and pre-workout stretching are crucial. As each serves as an important part of a healthy and more efficient workout routine. 

Dynamic stretching which fitness experts recommend performing before you work out, as it: 

  • Helps you avoid injuries.
  • Enhances your range of motion. 
  • Improves your mobility for further workout activities. 
  • Increases your overall flexibility. 

Static stretching which is best performed after a workout will help: 

  • Reduce the chances of injury by loosening up your tight muscles after a workout. 
  • Progressive body relaxation.
  • Enhances your joints’ range of motion alongside flexibility. 
  • Reduce lactic acid buildup in your body after your workout.
  • Enhance your circulation and increase the blood flow to your muscles.

That being said, both pre-workout and post-workout stretches are essential if you are aiming for optimal workout results. 

What makes stretching different from warming up?

It depends on what you want to get from each. On one hand, warming up will help raise your core body temperature and increase the blood flow to active muscles. While stretching aims to enhance your overall flexibility and your joints’ range of motion. A warmup such as jogging, biking, or walking is important even before stretching for maximized performance. 

What happens if I overstretch?

If you pushed your range of motion beyond its limits it could lead to many issues. Overstretching your muscles can cause joint soreness and instability resulting in problems ranging from tiny tissue rip to major muscles tears. Hyper-extension of the joints is also more likely to happen.

 You should be very careful as some of the overstretching strains can take months to recover. To avoid overstretching, you should stay within your flexibility range. You can easily determine that as it means not experiencing any pain.

What happens if I stretched cold muscles? 

Stretching cold muscles puts your muscles at the risk of injuries, tearing, ripping, or rupturing. So, you can’t force your muscles into a stretch without performing a warmup first.

That’s why a warmup is essential before any workout activities. 

What are the types of stretching?

There are 6 major types of stretching: 

Dynamic stretching

The best time to perform it: Before workout. 

Dynamic stretching is a technique in which you move parts of your body in order to let your joints go through their full range of motion. It aims to boost your flexibility and your joints’ motion range. 

Examples of dynamic stretches: Arm swings, walking lunges, and trunk rotations. 

Static stretching

The best time to perform it: after a workout. 

Static stretching involves holding a muscle pose in place for some time (30 to 60 sec). They help release stress from the muscles and boost body relaxation after the workout.

Examples of static stretches:  Core stretch, hamstring stretch, calf, and quad stretches. 

Ballistic stretching

The best time to perform it: Only under professional supervision in high-velocity activities.

Ballistic stretching is mainly about forcing a muscle into a stretch which can lead to injuries, it is about going a little beyond the joint’s range of motion. Experts don’t recommend this type of stretch. When necessary, it should only be performed with the guidance of an expert. 

Active stretching 

The best time to perform it: prior to workout activities.

Active stretching is stretches where you hold a posture with no external force. In which stretching one muscle (the agonist), will actively stretch another opposing muscle (the antagonist). They improve active flexibility and mobility while strengthening agonistic muscles.

An example of active stretching: is when you lay on your back on the floor and hold a straight leg pose to the ceiling until you feel your hamstring muscle stretch. 

Passive stretching

The best time to perform it: Muscles cool down or during recovery from exercises.

Passive stretches are external force-reliant stretches that require a help of a partner or an exercise object to pull the stretch and hold it for some time.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching (PNF)

The best time to perform it: After body injuries or if you are a well-trained athlete who is looking for better flexibility. (Under the supervision of a fitness professional) 

PNF stretches in which you stretch a muscle to its maximum length as a reaction the muscle contracts. Then passively with the help of a partner stretch the muscle again through the expanded range of motion.

PNF stretching is the most effective technique when it comes to increasing flexibility and joint range of motion. 

You can perform PNF stretching without a partner. However, it’s most effective with the help of a partner. 

Final Words

In this article, we covered the top 5 pre-elliptical stretches, the benefits of dynamic stretching and how to perform each move properly. We hope this article helped you improve your elliptical workout routine. 

If you have any other inquiries or questions about the topic don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

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