There is great controversy surrounding pre and post workout stretches. Stretching the body with dynamic exercises is important for flexibility which concentrates on the body’s full range of motion. Kicking your nervous system into high gear abruptly can shock your body. Therefore, it is important to perform a few stretches prior to working out in order to assist in optimal muscle response. Warming up the body prior to a tough workout is imperative to properly prepare the body for physical activity.

The following are the top 10 stretches that are encouraged before a tough workout:

  1. Arms circles: by moving your arms in a circular motion, the muscles are warmed up, relaxed, and ready to be worked out.
  2. Air squats: in order to strengthen and warm up your quadriceps, air squat will help to loosen the muscles that are pushed during your workouts.
  3. Band walks: with a band around both ankles, short steps forward and then backward will help to stretch out and loosen the abductors.
  4. Butt kicks: with the knees slightly bent, move from a squat and then quickly jump vertically and attempting to touch your butt with your feet.
  5. Heel walks: walking on the heels is a simple exercise that strengthens the muscles and gets your body ready for a workout.
  6. Hip circles: beginning in a standing position, the knee is raised 90 degrees as a circle is attempted, then switch to the other side. This is a great technique to loosen the abductors.
  7. Hip thrusts: this weighted hip extension is an excellent way to work the gluteus muscles, calves, and hamstrings.
  8. Kettlebell swings: kettlebells offer a great way to stretch the hamstrings prior to an intense workout.
  9. Leg swings: another great hamstring workout comes from standing next a support holding the body up with one hand, swing the leg the full range of motion for a very useful stretch.
  10. Walking lunges: lunges offer a fantastic source of strengthen and loosening for the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, and gluteus muscles.

While there are certainly many more useful stretches, the above all offer a quick solution to loosening muscles and preparing the body for a tough workout.