Stretching has a lot of benefits, like toning your body, making you more flexible, and adding to your range of motion. But you might be wondering, does stretching burn calories? And, can I add stretching to my weight loss program?
Stretching alone doesn’t burn many calories compared to other weight loss exercises. However, pairing stretches with cardio exercises helps strengthen your body and lose weight simultaneously.
See the table below if you are in a hurry to see our best stretching products, plus exercises you can do to be flexible and burn more calories.
Read on as we explore how to optimize your daily stretch exercises to weight loss training.
- 1 How Many Calories Does Stretching Burn? ?
- 2 Types of Stretching and Energy Consumption ?♂️
- 3 How Does Stretching Burn Calories??♀️
- 4 Stretching Exercises That Help Lose Weight?♀️
- 5 Bottom Line ?
How Many Calories Does Stretching Burn? ?
Losing weight needs a calorie deficit, meaning you have to consume fewer calories than you burn. When you do that, your body has no choice but to pull stored fat, and that’s how you burn fat and lose weight.
The number of calories you burn by every minute of stretching depends on your weight; the heavier you are, the more calories you burn. However, this number can increase if you combine stretching with moderate to higher intensity exercises like dynamic warm-ups and power yoga.
For example, an hour of power yoga practice burns about 360 calories.
The average number of calories burned during one round of Surya Namaskar is 13.90.
You can begin with five rounds and increase the intensity over time.
Types of Stretching and Energy Consumption ?♂️
We usually think of stretching as simply bending and holding a muscle or a body part for a few seconds.
But there are different types of stretching, each serving different purposes.
Knowing how they all work and their differences is essential because each affects the body differently and uses a different amount of energy.
Active and Passive Stretching
These stretches don’t burn much energy, so they’re best done after a workout.
They’re ideal for cool-downs rather than the actual exercise.
These stretches help improve flexibility.
They work by contracting one muscle (the agonist) to stretch another muscle (the antagonist).
Some examples of passive stretching include quad stretch, butterfly stretch, and hamstring stretch.
Dynamic stretching moves your joints through their range of motion in repetitive sets.
This type of stretch increases metabolism.
It makes the blood flow through your muscles and makes your body warm and ready to work.
By doing so, you’ll burn calories faster than you usually would, which will help you lose weight more effectively.
Examples include high knees, high kicks, twisting lunges, and jump squats.
How Does Stretching Burn Calories??♀️
Stretching doesn’t directly burn many calories, but it does have benefits for weight loss.
Accordingly, these are some of the benefits:
During stretching, the blood flow to the muscles increases.
This flow allows more oxygen and nutrients to enter the muscles, which helps warm them up before exercise.
In other words, when you stretch before working out, you’ll exercise more efficiently, faster, and stronger.
This can improve your weight loss program.
Stretching helps release tension not only in muscles but in your head.
It’s a great way to relax, get rid of distracting thoughts, and achieve peace.
Stress inhibits weight loss.
Cortisol, a hormone that releases when stressed, can lead to weight gain.
Stretching and yoga can also help those with emotional eating.
Think of the significant change you’ll achieve if you replace the walk to the refrigerator with a quick five-minute stretching session!
Stretching is a movement just like any other exercise; it burns calories.
It may not be many, but you’ll lose weight if you make it a routine and consume fewer calories than you burn.
Improved Daily Activities
Daily activities (other than exercises) define how many calories you burn each day and affect your weight loss journey.
These daily activities can include lifting boxes, hanging laundry, walking to your car in the morning, moving grocery bags in, etc.
This can be a massive step in your weight loss program.
Stretching can have a lot of benefits not only for those who want to lose weight but for everyone.
It’s simple, doesn’t need any equipment, and can be done anywhere.
The best thing about stretching is that you can easily add it to any exercise program and make it a daily routine.
Stretching Exercises That Help Lose Weight?♀️
Metabolic Stretching is a program that shows how to perform stretches to burn calories.
It’s a simple routine that involves various exercises that burn fat and train muscles simultaneously.
A study published in Sports Medicine suggests that metabolic stretching helps with muscle activation and offers better contraction, which leads to fat loss and muscle gain.
Here are some fat burning exercises you can add to your stretching routine:
Start from a kneeling position, one leg forward with the knee in a 90-degree shape, and your opposite knee just behind you.
While you exhale, slowly lean your torso forward to feel the stretch.
You can lift your hands and hold them up or hold dumbbells to make it more challenging.
To make the motion extra hard, you can turn your body toward your front leg.
You can also use resistance bands to add to the intensity of your workout.
These resistance bands, available on Amazon, are a great addition to your routine, coming in five colors and resistance levels.
Put your hands together, roll your shoulders back, and sweep your legs open.
Then, lunge down on one side, bending your knee at a 90-degree angle.
Remember to keep the other leg straight until you feel the stretch in your inner thigh.
Hold the position for 15-20 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
Place your hands and knees on the ground, toes touching the floor.
Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and your arms straight.
Inhale, and push your hips up and back as you exhale.
Push the floor with your hands and make a mountain pose.
Start with the downward-facing dog pose, inhale, and come forward to a plank pose.
Bend your elbows as you exhale and slowly come down to the floor.
Then, roll your shoulders back, tuck your elbows in, and pull your torso off the ground pushing your palms on the floor.
Keep your back straight and look forward.
Stand with your shoulders arched back, keeping a good posture.
Bring your hands together, close to your heart, and begin to fold as you lift one leg behind you.
Keep your torso and the leg behind in a straight line.
Point the toes of the raised foot, and look down to find balance.
The Seated Spinal Twist
Sit on the ground and stretch your right leg out in front of you.
Bend the right knee and cross it over the left one.
Turn your body towards the bent knee.
Maintain this pose for at least 20-30 seconds.
Bend your knees at 90 degrees and stretch your arms to your sides as you lie on your back.
Then, rise slowly from the mat.
Push your upper back and shoulders to the ground. You can grab onto your ankles for added balance.
Remain in this pose for 15-30 seconds.
Place your feet four feet apart, standing upright.
Angle your left foot 45 degrees and your right foot 90 degrees (making a triangle with your legs).
Bend down sideways, reach for the left ankle while extending your right arm parallel to the ground, and hold it there.
Look up, and maintain this position for 20-30 seconds.
The Butterfly (Inner Thigh Stretch)
Straighten your back and sit on the ground.
Drop your knees out to the sides, making the soles of your feet touch.
Press your knees gently into the floor using your forearms, feeling a gentle stretch in your inner thighs.
Maintain this position for about 20-30 seconds.
Here’s a video showing a 3-minute metabolic stretching routine:
If you are interested in learning more stretches, see our top three recommended stretching books to buy on Amazon today.
Bottom Line ?
We’ve learned that just stretching is less efficient for burning calories than activities like jogging, biking, or high-intensity interval training.
However, it increases your daily calorie burn when you do it as a warm-up before exercising, leading to weight loss.
Stretching has many other benefits, such as increasing mobility and range of motion, warming up our body, and releasing tension mentally and physically.
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Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API