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What Stretches Before Lifting Weights?

    Stretching helps warm your muscles up, increase your range of motion during the workout, and reduce the risk of injuring your joints and muscle fibers. You need to stretch your muscles before strenuous exercises such as weightlifting. Therefore, what stretches before lifting weights?

    Dynamic stretches are perfect before weightlifting since they increase the range of motion in your muscles and joints and help you warm up your body. Therefore, you’ll be more prepared for your workout. In contrast, static stretching reduces muscle performance, so you shouldn’t do these stretches before weightlifting. Also, remember to do 10 to 15 minutes of cardio before stretching.

    What Stretches Before Lifting Weights

    Read on to learn more about the stretching exercises before weight training and their advantages during and after training sessions. 

     

    Pre-training for Lifting Weights 🏋️‍♂️

    To gain more out of your weightlifting session, you need to do some pre-training exercises.

    These exercises gradually increase your blood circulation and prepare the muscles and joints.

    They include general warm-ups, dynamic stretching, and technical warm-ups.

     

    General Warm-up

    General Warm-up

    General warm-up reduces the risk of injury by activating your muscles.

    It also prepares your cardiovascular system for weightlifting by increasing blood circulation, body temperature, and oxygen delivery. 

    Do 5 to 10 minutes of light physical activity such as stationary cycling or jogging on the spot to get the best results. 

     

    Dynamic Stretches

    Dynamic Stretches

    Dynamic stretching gets your body moving. You only have to stay in each stretching position for a short while. 

    Dynamic stretching increases your range of motion, improves flexibility and athletic performance, and decreases stiffness.

    Five to 10 minutes of dynamic stretching is ideal before weightlifting. 

     

    Technical Warm-up

    Technical Warm-up

    Technical warm-up before weightlifting means imitating lifting motions without holding any weights.

    You can hold very light weights.

    By doing this, your brain and body become aware of what you intend to do.

    Your technical warm-up routine can last for 10 to 20 minutes.

     

    Best Dynamic Stretches Before Weightlifting 🏋️‍♀️

    Best Dynamic Stretches Before Weightlifting

    When you do dynamic stretches, you keep moving through a range of motion without holding the stretch for too long.

    It’s the best technique for warming up your body and preparing it for weightlifting.

    Dynamic stretches improve speed, strength, and agility.  

    Read on to learn seven dynamic stretching exercises you can do to prepare your muscles for weightlifting.

     

    Squats 

     Squats

    During squats, you improve the flexibility of your hip, ankle, and knee with an external rotation that removes the force from your pelvis and spine.

    The move also stretches the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. 

    To do a squat:

    • Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly out. Place your hands on your hips.
    • Bend your knees and squat down. Go as low as you can until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Feel the stretch in your back, thighs, and hamstring. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
    • Return to the upright position. 

     

    Lunges 

    Lunges

    Lunges lengthen your hip flexor muscles and increase their flexibility and range of motion.

    They also stretch your quadriceps and hamstring and work on your knee joint. 

    For this stretching exercise, you need to:

    • Stand straight and take a big step forward with your right leg.
    • Go down as much as you can until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your right knee has a 90-degree angle. Feel the stretch in your back, thighs, and hamstring. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
    • Go back to the starting position and switch legs.

     

    Arm Circles 

    Arm Circles

    This exercise increases blood circulation and works on your shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

    It also warms up your chest muscles and prepares you for chest press exercises. 

    Do the following steps for this stretching technique:

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
    • Keep your arms extended and parallel to the floor.
    • Move your arms in a controlled circular motion. Feel the stretch in your arm muscles. 
    • Increase the circle size to experience a deeper stretch.

     

    Hip Circles

    Hip Circles

    Hip circles work on your core, spine, and hip joints.

    They stretch your pelvic and back muscles, prevent stiffness, and increase their range of motion. 

    To do this exercise, follow these steps:

    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart near a wall or chair and hold it for support. 
    • Swing your right leg in a circular motion. 
    • Feel the stretch in your inner leg muscles. 
    • Increase the circle size to feel a deeper stretch in your legs.
    • Gently get back to the starting position.
    • Do 20 reps and then switch legs.

     

    Cat-Cow Pose

    Cat-Cow Pose

    Cat-cow pose warms up your spine by reciprocally squeezing and stretching the back muscles.

    It also works on your abdominal muscles. 

    For this stretch, you need to:

    • Place your hands and knees on the floor. 
    • Slowly arch and round your back to extend and flex your back muscles. 
    • Complete each cycle in 3 to 4 seconds and perform 30 cycles. 

    Note: You have to feel the stretch in your back and abdomen as you go through every circle.

     

    High Kicks

    High Kicks

    High kicks warm up the hamstrings, back thighs, and calf.

    The move also significantly improves your range of motion, making your legs ready for the upcoming weightlifting routine. 

    For this exercise:

    • Stand straight, and extend your arms in front of you.
    • Raise your right foot in front of your body to kick your hand. 
    • Feel the stretch through your back legs.
    • Go back to the starting position and switch legs.

     

    Spinal Rotation

    Spinal Rotation

    Spinal rotation works on your core and stretches your back muscles.

    It can also warm your spine up. For this exercise, follow these steps:

    • Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms to the sides, parallel to the ground.
    • Keep your core tight and your head still. Start to rotate your body from side to side. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

    Watch this YouTube video for a five-minute routine of dynamic stretches you can do before lifting weights:

     

    Why Should You Stretch Before Lifting Weights? 🤷‍♂️

    Stretching before weightlifting has many benefits, including increasing your range of motion and flexibility.

    It also prepares you for the athletic performance you’re about to do.

    Here are some important benefits of stretching before weightlifting

     

    Reduces Risk of Injury

    Reduces Risk of Injury

    Loosening up your muscles through stretching reduces the risk of injury.

    When you start a workout without stretching and warming up your muscles, the stiff muscular areas become prone to ripping.

    Muscle elongation or stretching decreases the likelihood that your muscle fibers and tissues will tear.  

     

    Improves Performance

    Improves Performance

    Stretching increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to your muscles.

    This increases energy and flexibility and makes you mentally ready for the workout.

    These processes improve your performance and let you get the most out of exercise.

     

    Reduces Fatigue

    Reduces Fatigue

    Fresh oxygen delivery due to higher blood circulation wakes your muscles up.

    Stretching removes tension from your muscles and reduces fatigue. 

    As the blood flow in the muscles increases during stretching, you’ll feel a surge of energy levels.

    Stretched muscles require less energy to work. 

    Increased blood flow also makes your brain more alert, increasing your energy, concentration, and motivation.

    Therefore, your body can go further in your workout. 

     

    Frequently Asked Questions 🤔

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Happens if You Lift Weights Without Stretching?

    If you lift weights without stretching, you may injure yourself.

    Your muscles will lose their range of motion and flexibility and become less responsive to the workout.
    Lack of warming up also
    increases the risk of pain and injury since your muscles are stiff and prone to tearing.

    How Long Should You Stretch Before Lifting Weight?

    How Long Should You Stretch Before Lifting Weight

    Do 20 to 30 minutes of muscle warm-up before weightlifting.

    Five to 10 minutes of dynamic stretching before lifting weight is probably enough.

    Remember to adequately stretch all the muscles you are going to work on. 

    Is It Bad to Stretch After Lifting Weight?

    No. We recommend doing static stretches after weightlifting as a cool-down technique.

    It increases the range of motion in your joints, reduces the risk of injury and pain, decreases muscular tension and stress, and improves blood circulation.

    Final Thoughts 😎

    Reason to exercise

    It would be best if you did pre-training exercises before weightlifting.

    These include general warm-up, stretching, and technical stretching.

    Dynamic stretches are the perfect stretching technique to do before weightlifting.

    These include squats, lunges, and arm circles. 

    Stretching before weightlifting increases your range of motion and flexibility, reduces the risk of injury, improves performance, reduces fatigue, and boosts your energy levels. 

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    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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