Questions and Answers
Q: I have a limited amount of time
to stretch and warm-up before I exercise in the morning.
Is it really worth getting up extra early for?
Absolutely. When you first get up in the morning,
your muscles are tight. In fact, at that time, your
muscles are generally about 10% shorter than their
normal resting lengths. As you move around, they stretch
to their normal lengths. When you start to exercise,
your muscles stretch even more, up to about 10% longer
than their normal resting length.... that's a total
percent change of 20%.
Basic physics tells us that muscles work more efficiently
when they are longer; meaning they can exert more
force with less effort. Longer muscles are also much
less prone to injury. So the extra time spent warming
up your muscles before a training run or race is worth
the effort in improved efficiency and decreased likelihood
of getting injured.
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