“I must always warm up before I stretch, right?

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Stretching IS warming up. As you work your muscles, you are pumping blood to them and firing them, one at a time. As each set of stretches progresses, you gradually increase your range of motion with gentle assistance at the end of each stretch. Each subsequent stretch is a little more elongated, which means the muscle on top of the stretching muscle is firing a little harder. Everything is becoming more efficient and working more smoothly.

This is why we recommend an Active-Isolated Stretch routine before you begin a workout.

Following a workout, an identical routine can help flush metabolic wastes such as lactic acid, which accumulate in a stressed muscle. The gentle pumping action of the routine sends blood to parts of the body that have worked hard. Healing and recovery begin and are accelerated. Range of motion is restored in areas that have been tracked in very rigid and specific patterns—during running, for example.

For these reasons, stretching is recommended as a “cool-down” routine.