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Overrated Or Essential?

by Courtney on July 5, 2011

Happy Tuesday! Is everyone easing back into the grind alright this morning? I hope your holiday weekend was fabulous!

In case you were super busy like I was this past weekend, here’s what you may have missed…

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Needless to say, if you’re all caught up on those posts, then you already know that I definitely indulged in my fair share of yummy picnic eats and treats (umm, definitely the treats). So an early morning trip to the gym this morning was just what my body was craving.

I completed 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical before heading into today’s BodyPump class. To be honest, I’m getting pretty bored with the latest release and wish my instructor would switch things up a bit. I need to hear some new beats to rock out to!

But while I was in today’s class, I made another observation. (In case you missed my previous two, you can check ‘em out here and here.)

If you’ve ever been to a BodyPump class, then you know that the last “track” of a release is the stretch. I actually really look forward to this time at the end of the class because it feels so good to really stretch out all of the muscles I just worked.

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But I would have to say, in a typical class, at least two-thirds of the people in the class will totally skip on the stretching.

Maybe it’s just me, but that really boggles my mind! I mean, I love me some stretching, and I know it’s so good for my body post-workout; but apparently not everyone is on board with me?

What do you think? Is stretching overrated or an essential piece of your workout?

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Post-workout and a quick trip to the grocery store later, I made it home for some breakfast. I’m attributing it to the overabundance of sweets this weekend, but I was craving eggs and toast this morning like it was nobody’s business.

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(You all know I rarely crave eggs, unless it’s on a weekend.) But today’s breakfast tasted absolutely amazing.

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I toasted up two thin slices of my Farmers Market whole wheat bread and topped it with some fresh tomato slices, half a slice of provolone cheese, and some scrambled eggs mixed with fresh basil, salt and pepper.

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Once again, the eggs rocked. I think you pepper lovers may be onto something…and Jay, you’re not allowed to say “I told ya so!” Winking smile

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Along with breakfast, of course, I sipped on another glass of last minute iced coffee.

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I don’t know, I think I could get used to this toast and eggs for breakfast thing. I may have to try it out a bit more this week!

Question for the Morning (from above):

What do you think about stretching? Is it overrated or an essential piece of your workout?

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Samantha H. July 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

Stretching is ESSENTIAL!!!! People who leave are cheating their bodies. I also think it’s kinda rude to leave early … but that’s just me.

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2 Krissie J July 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

I’m battling a hamstring pull (that I ignored for too long), so stretching after a workout, even if the lower body is not the focus, is a must. I’m with you, it just feels SO good to do it when you’ve worked really hard.

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3 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries July 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

I must admit, sometimes I forget to stretch if I’m just doing a workout by myself! I’ll always stay for stretching if I’m in a class, but some days I just do my biz-nass in the gym and totally forget to cool down. SUCH a mistake!

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4 Blog is the New Black July 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

It depends on if I’m crunched for time… sometimes I skip it but I know it’s good for me!

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5 Faith @ lovelyascharged July 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

I always forget to stretch, which is probably why I’m super prone to shin splints. I do think it’s essential though, and I’m working on remembering to do it more!

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6 Victoria (District Chocoholic) July 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

Stretching IS essential, but my body pump class often runs late (like almost 10 minutes) and I might have to get somewhere. I’ll hit a mat outside the group exercise room and do at least 2 minutes of stretching on my own.

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7 Alicia July 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

I love a good stretch! I remember feeling the same way when I saw people doing that during class.

Your breakfast looks so fresh and yummy!!

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8 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles July 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

Stretching is necessary and it is better for your muscles if you do it….. BUT, it can be so hard to take the time on something that is seemingly ‘resting’…. Those eggs looked like they ‘rocked’! :)
I’ll need some coffee to help me get into the daily ‘grind’. :)

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9 Joanna July 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

Stretching is essential for me at the end of every workout & even first thing in the morning. I find that if I skip stretching, my legs especially feel so stiff & much more sore the next day.

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10 Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories July 5, 2011 at 9:11 am

Stretching feels great, and I always love the cool down sessions after classes, but I think a lot of people come for the burn and when that’s over they’re done! Too bad, huh?

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11 Dani @ Body By Nature July 5, 2011 at 9:16 am

Stretching is essential! Helps to prevents injuries and feels great!

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12 Lauren July 5, 2011 at 9:18 am

I always stay for the strech portion in a class environment because I don’t want to seem rude leaving early but I hate streching…I’ve been working out for years without doing it and have never suffered any injuries or been set back by leaving it out. I will do it if I’m just chilling while watching TV but as part of a work out I don’t…I know that’s probably bad but there you have it! :) This is probably why I’ve never tried yoga either…haha

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13 Whitney July 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

For whatever reason the only time I don’t really stretch is for the classes at the gym. I am definitely one of the people who leaves during the stretch portion. Now, when I am training for a race and have a long run to do, I stretch before and after! :)

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14 Diana July 5, 2011 at 9:26 am

It is SO essential – I feel like so many people view it as unnecessary because it may not be burning calories. While that’s true, it is so important for injury prevention, and how much better is it to take 15 minutes to stretch than to have to take weeks or even months off of exercise? People always try to leave yoga classes during final relaxation, to the point that my teachers will actually tell them they aren’t allowed to leave! It’s disruptive and doing no favors to your body!

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15 Kelly July 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

I absolutely HATE stretching but I know from experience (sadly) that not stretching leads to injuries!

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16 Lindsey July 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

Stretching is not overrated! I try to stretch after every workout, but don’t always. I have had a few injuries in the past from not stretching though and learned the hard way.

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17 Camilla July 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

Essential! I work out in my home “gym” (treadmill, free weights, weight bench, TV and yoga mat), so it’s tough to stretch when I get bored easily, but I know it prevents injuries so I make myself do it! :D

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18 Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl July 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

I’m sitting here showing off all of your weekend holiday creations to my coworkers. We all collectively think you should start a bakery ;-). We’ll be your first customers! haha

On stretching: Think it’s very important but I confess, often, I’m one of those people that leaves early and boggles your mind. I intend to stretch later, but then I don’t. It just seems like there is never enough time to get in a good stretch. That being said, one of my little fitness goals is to make 2-3 minutes for stretching at the end of every workout. It’s actually essential for fixing my foot injury. So, DEFINITELY stretching is important :-)

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19 Courtney July 5, 2011 at 10:35 am

Awwww, Jamie! You are so awesome :-D

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20 Stephanie @ StephSnacks July 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

I think that we all need to take the time to extend our muscles and care for them. I generally stretch for about two-three minutes before working out but I am totally at fault for not stretching afterwards, unless instructed by a DVD or a teacher in a class! So bad!

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21 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen July 5, 2011 at 9:53 am

I agree, stretching is one of the best parts of a workout I think, and very necessary! That looks like one kick-ass egg sandwich this morning!

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22 Brenda July 5, 2011 at 9:54 am

I also rarely crave eggs but that looks really good. I would never have thought of that tomato, cheese, and egg combo.
I always know when my body is craving a good stretch. It is so important!

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23 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun July 5, 2011 at 9:56 am

ESSENTIAL! I have to stretch regularly or my body lets me know strongly. However, I don’t always stay for the class stretch because I can do it on my own time and I might need to rush out for the kiddos naps or something.

Also – I’m with you on needing the gym and healthy eats this morning. I had my fair share of treats this weekend too!

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24 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake July 5, 2011 at 10:06 am

I always stay to stretch after Pump… I agree; it feels great after working all those muscles!

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25 alyssa - fashion fitness foodie July 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

I always skip my stretching :/ but i’ve been feeling tight lately so i should start staying!

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26 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy July 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

I know that stretching is good for me, but sometimes I’m so tired by the end of my workout, that I’d rather just go home and take a shower. If I’m taking a class though, I won’t skip out on the stretching. I think some people might skip it because they’re in a hurry to get home and get ready for work, or to be with the kids so their spouse can go to work, etc.

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27 Sherri July 5, 2011 at 10:42 am

I think stretching is key! I not only love the feel of a good stretch after a workout (tough or not) but I know it’s important for my body. I feel like if I don’t at least do some stretching then what I just did to work my body was wasted. I want my muscles to look good since I just worked them and I don’t want to cause injury or soreness. Maybe some skip it because they don’t know how good it is or they’re going off to do some other physical activity and figure they’ll do it later?

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28 Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle July 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

I really only stretch after I run and I take yoga occasionally. If I have a specific body part that feels a little tight, I will stretch it out…but as for stretching at the gym after I work out, I never do. It’s overrated.

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29 Sarah @ Food and Love Diaries July 5, 2011 at 10:53 am

I really should stretch more. I’ve been so neglectful of stretching lately!

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30 Laura fredlund July 5, 2011 at 10:53 am

Stretching is essential! I love stretching

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31 Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health July 5, 2011 at 10:55 am

I know for a fact that stretching is essential, but I don’t do nearly enough of it. I used to be so flexible from dancing and cheerleading, but after I stopped doing those I lost my flexibility and stretching is just so uncomfortable. BUT, this post just reminded me that I should be doing it, so thank you! I will incorporate some stretching into my workout today :)

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32 Kate July 5, 2011 at 11:16 am

I think stretching is absolutely essential! In my experience it keeps my muscles a bit looser so that they don’t hurt more than they otherwise would after a work out. I’ve also heard that it helps move the lactic acid around so it doesn’t collect and make your muscles cramp up afterwards but I’m not sure how much truth there is to that or if it was just a scare tactic by an old coach. Ha!

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33 Lindsey @ Cardio Pizza July 5, 2011 at 11:40 am

As an instructor and participant it does make me wonder why a lot of people leave. I understand time constraints with busy schedules and all, but I still think the stretch is important, if not just a few minutes of relaxation!

Have a great day! :)

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34 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn July 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Stretching is SO important. If I don’t stretch, I get tight and then my workout the next day isn’t as good because you don’t give your muscles the R&R they need to rebuild!

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35 Becca July 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I never used to stretch and made it a goal for this prep to do it after everyyyyyyyy cardio and have to say that with the exception of maybe 5 days since january I have stretched and i noticed a big change in soreness/tightness in areas that used to be hugely problematic for me! My hips and knees arent anywhere near as bad as they were last year and I fully acredit stretching to helping!

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36 Aine @ Something to Chew Over July 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I absolutely love stretching and I think that my devotion to it has protected me from injuries. It’s also how I wind down after a tough workout – I’m usually pretty wired and need a few calming minutes before I go back into the real world :)

I always find classes and DVDs skimp on stretching so I usually do my own routine in addition to this.

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37 Lora at BootyGotBling July 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

ESSENTIAL!
it feels so good!!
and if I’m strapped for time, I pull of a few stretches while undressing in the changeroom post-workout… I’m sure passerbyers think, “Why is that girl bent over untying her shoes SOOOOO SLOWWWWLY!?!?!” “I’m stretching, people!!!” I’ll even stick some in when I get home from the gym while prepping my next meal. But I SOO know how annoying it is when the ppl leave before the last track. Some of my BP instructors announce to the class NOT to do that… that was always nice :)

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38 Cait @ Urban Fencepost July 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Depends on the workout how much stretching I do. I especially like to get a good stretch in after I do a muscle max class, because I’ve used so many different muscle groups. After running I definitely need to stretch my legs or I’ll pay for it later!

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39 Julia July 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I always forget to stretch. I don’t have a gym membership at the moment, so my workouts are usually on my own, so I don’t have that reminder to do it. I really need to start though because I truly enjoy stretching and it’s so good for you.

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40 Amy July 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm

My favorite hot yoga class is actually a stretching one. 90 minutes of stretching puts me in such a great mood and my body just feels so relaxed afterwards!! Sometimes I prefer to skip the workouts and just stretch (but I’m lazy so that may be part of it too :) )

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41 Khushboo July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Stretching is defo essential but I am guilty of skimping on it!

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42 Meghan July 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

If I am taking a strength based class I usually skip out on the stretching to end with a little bit of cardio and then stretch on my own when I am done! I hateeee stretching but I know the importance of it, so now I always do it!
I love pepper, glad you’ve seen the light :)

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43 Ashley A. July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Stretching is essential for me. Although, I will be honest. I am one of those people that walk out during the stretching class in Body Pump. In my defense, I do it because I like to do RPM after and that class fills up fast. However, I do try to stretch before the RPM class actually starts.

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44 Jenny & Love Eat Run July 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I agree that stretching is a necessity. The only time I skip it during BodyPump (Group Power at my gym) is when I’m going to be doing more of workout after the class…then I save it for when my complete workout is done.

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45 Amy July 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

i feel that a lot of the people that skip stretch at pump in the early morning so that they can get their move on and get to work. some people at my gym do that but i love the stretch (and the relaxing music!) so i try not to best i can! so amazing to stretch all the aching muscles!

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46 Erica July 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

while i totally think stretching is essential, i’m one of those that’ll skip it to save time if i have to.

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47 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey July 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I looooove stretching!! But I think that some people are just in a hurry all the time that they don’t take the time to do it!

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48 Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats July 5, 2011 at 10:33 pm

That always happens at Body Pump here too. It drives me nuts because I find the stretching portion absolutely essential and it is hard to relax when people are scurrying around the room to get out!

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49 Kayla @ Sprouty Buns July 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I know stretching is an essential part of a workout routine but I definitely slack in that department. I have minimal time to fit in my workouts and don’t feel like I’m adequately using that time if I stretch – I do practice yoga so I feel like that is my weekly dose of stretching :)

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50 Amber @ Stop and Smell the Wildflowers July 6, 2011 at 4:24 am

I think stretching is totally essential! That’s my favorite part of a workout! :)

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51 Hannah July 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

i do think stretching is super important but i never really realized it until i began running more! i think when people go to the gym, they don’t like to stretch because they are there to work out and do not see that as important/working out!

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