Stretching Before Exercise

Stretching before exercise can help you move better and keep you more flexible as you age. While static stretching (stretching a muscle and holding it) can loosen your muscles, dynamic stretching (incorporating movement) can often be even more effective.

“Some studies have shown that static stretches can hinder your performance in sports,” says R. August Ritter III, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Dynamic stretches can help you prepare August Ritterfor powerful movements.”

Here is one dynamic stretch to try:

Standing Cat-Camel

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent.Lean forward, placing your hands just above your knees. Round your back so your chest is closed and your shoulders are curved forward. Arch your back so your chest opens and your shoulders roll back.

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