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Stretching when you work out — is it a good or a bad thing?

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(WYTV) – You work out, you stretch — you stretch first, right? To get those muscles warmed up and ready to move? Let’s look at it another way.

You need your muscles to be flexible so they and your joints can help reduce your risk of getting hurt and improve your performance.

Stretching those muscles is good, but when you do it matters.

“The old stretching before you work out has actually been shown to increase the rate of injuries. And paradoxically, regular stretching done when the muscles are warm, such as after you work out, over the long term can lower your injury risk,” said sports medicine Dr. Chad Asplund, with the Mayo Clinic.

Rather than stretching before you exercise, do a dynamic warm-up instead such as running in place, jumping jacks or leg lifts. In other words, you’re using your muscles but you’re not really moving them. You’re getting them warm gradually as you progress into your workout.

Then after the workout, do your stretches, which lengthen the muscles by placing them under tension.

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