This post is the first in a series that will be aimed at preventing injuries when working out with the Insanity program or any other high intensity exercise program.
The Insanity workout is a great program that produces remarkable results, however, it lacks in flexibility training, which in my opinion, is a downfall.
Flexibility training is not just important to increase your flexibility, it can also help prevent injuries and help your muscles recover from training faster than they would without stretching. The result: less overall muscle soreness after working out, tendons and joints don’t hurt.
Who Needs Extra Flexibility Training?
This article is for anyone who is following the Insanity program or following any workout program that lacks a real focus on flexibility training. If you are over the age of twenty-five please pay even more attention to this article.
Two Types of Stretching – Dynamic & Streching
What is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretches are a form of stretching focusing on continuous movement to bring the muscle into a stretch – they are not held. This type of stretching is best performed before your workout to help get blood flowing to the area of your body that is about to be worked. Think of dynamic stretches as a way to prime your body for the exercises that lie ahead.
Core Benefits of Dynamic Stretching:
- Activates the muscles that are about to be worked out
- Quickly improves your range of motion
- Helps with balance and coordination
- Enhances muscle power and performance
What is Static Stretching?
Static stretching is the form of flexibility training that elongates the muscle by holding the stretch for a set amount of time while in a specific stretch position. Static stretches should be performed at the end of a workout to help the body cool down and prevent the muscles from tightening up after your workout.
Core Benefits of Static Stretching:
- Helps the body and mind relax
- Enhances muscle range of motion
- Improves posture
Dynamic Stretches to Perform Before Insanity
Below are a couple of videos that I found on YouTube that demonstrate dynamic stretching exercises. You can perform the movements from these videos before any Insanity workout or anytime you feel like you need to limber up. They will help get your body ready for the strenuous exercise that is about to come.
You don’t have to follow the exercises in the videos exactly, but instead, use them as a reference and do what you think will provide you with an adequate warm-up. If you need more, do more. If you need less, do less.
Static Stretching After Insanity Workouts
Static stretching should be performed after working out – and yes, that means right after! For years, static stretching was considered to be a way to warm-up for exercise, but today, sports science has proven that static stretching before working out is incorrect.
Static stretching before a workout can actually put you in more jeopardy for an injury, because you could injure yourself if your muscles are “cold” and you’re pulling them into deep stretches, you are also at a higher risk for injury when working out. It is best to perform static stretches after your workout to help improve your mobility and range of motion, which in turn, can help reduce muscle soreness in the long run.
Below is a sequence of additional stretching you can do as a cool down following your Insanity workouts. Try to hold each stretch for thirty seconds and work both sides of your body.
Don’t wait until it’s too late – start dynamic stretching before and static stretching after your Insanity workouts the next time you work out. Just adding 5 to 10 minutes before and after your workouts not only dramatically reduces your risk of injury, but also lowers the time it takes to recover from the workouts, allowing you to workout harder!
Enter your email below to be updated about the next installment of how to stay injury free!