Chances are, the longer you lift, the more you start to notice some changes in your body. Over time, your body IS getting stronger, but with the increased strength (and training volume) can also come tight muscles.
Tight muscles are a problem because not only will they impact your form in the gym, but long term they can lead to issues with your movement patterns in everyday activities and can eventually lead to chronic pain or even injury.
As you know, you need to do a dynamic warm-up before training, but what else can you do to keep your body in prime shape?
Static Stretching Post Workout
While dynamic (moving) stretches are best pre-workout, post-workout is a terrific time to take 5-10 minutes to settle into some focused static stretches. These are deep stretches that you push to the edge just slightly and hold for 10-30 seconds. Try to relax the muscle that you are trying to stretch instead of fighting it.
Here is a great post-workout static stretching routine you can implement in just 5 minutes:
Netflix and Stretch
If you’re someone with a tight schedule who often finds yourself running out of the gym without stretching, it’s on you to protect yourself by finding time at some point during the day to work on your flexibility.
A trick that has helped me is keeping a yoga mat and foam roller in my living room. There’s usually some point during the evening that I am either watching Netflix or listening to a podcast. Instead of just sitting on the couch, I use this time to work on my tight muscles before my next gym session.
Pro Tip: To really take a nighttime stretch routine to the next level, try executing after a hot Epsom salt bath!