Difference between Warmup and Stretching: Myths and Facts

Difference between warmup and stretches. (Left Image by Maksim Goncharenok; Right Image by cottonbro / Pexels)
Difference between warmup and stretches. (Left Image by Maksim Goncharenok; Right Image by cottonbro / Pexels)
Soniya Y

Warmups and stretches are two important components of a workout, regardless of what sport or workout you plan to do. Many people use the terms "stretching" and "warming up" interchangeably, and they differ in important ways.

However, they are often confused with warmups and stretches. Both have their own set of benefits, so it’s important to know when to do which one – especially before participating in a sports activity, to avoid causing more harm than good!

What’s the Difference between WarmUp and Stretching?

Stretching's main purpose is to promote muscular flexibility and joint range of motion. Whereas, the warm-up’s goal is to raise heart rate, which increases blood flow and oxygen to working muscles.

A warm-up consists of light exercises, such as jogging, jumping jacks, passing a ball back and forth, or high-knee skipping. All these motions raise body temperature and blood flow to the muscles. As a result, muscular suppleness improves, and strain is reduced.

Take a look at this video to learn about the quick warmup before workout


Stretching, on the other hand, is when you hold a position for a long time, usually around 30 seconds. It helps with muscle stiffness, just like warming up, and should be done before and after any intense exercise.

Here's a quick video on how you can do these daily stretches


Stretches are divided into two categories. Dynamic stretching is done throughout your warm-up and comprises gradual, controlled motions like walking lunges or high-knee running.

Static stretching, which entails holding a stretch for 30 seconds at a time, is best done after a game to help chill down the muscles and minimize second-day pain.

What Are the Benefits of WarmUp and Stretching?

A proper warmup raises the body's temperature, increasing muscle extensibility. In other words, it makes muscles more flexible, allowing them to perform through their full range of motion and thereby reducing injury risk.

Stretching is beneficial to our physical well-being since it helps us become more flexible. Prolonged hours of sitting might cause hamstring tightness. We can lower the risk of lower back pain while bending and lifting tasks by increasing the flexibility of our hamstrings.

Myths about Stretching

#1 Stretching relieves sore muscles

Stretching should never be done if you have acute muscular pain. Intense stretching might widen the little tears in your muscle fibers even more (microtrauma).

This is why, after a strenuous workout, you should take it easy on the stretching. As a general rule, the more intense and demanding the workout, the more cautious you should be when stretching afterward.

#2 Stretching reduces the risk of injury

There are particular stretches you may take before exercising to reduce your risk of injury.

#3 Stretch should be held for 30 seconds.

You can, but you don't have to. The truth is that there is no set amount of time for which you should hold your stretch. Stretching can take anywhere between 15 and 60 seconds to complete.

Myths about Warm-Ups

Let’s bust some of the myths about warm-ups

#1 You can skip warm-ups

Warm-ups are non-negotiable. It's especially vital if you want to keep working out as you get older because the framework of your activity is very important for maintaining physical longevity.

#2 Stretch every muscle in your body

It's not a good idea to stretch your complete body before a workout. Static stretching should be saved until the end of your workout when your muscles are warm.

#3 I don’t need to warm up if I am flexible

Increased activity, a variety of exercises, heavy impact, an increase in weight load, and aging all contribute to a reduction in flexibility. In addition, as we age, our mobility becomes more restricted as a result of decreased activity and prolonged sitting.


Before deciding on a warmup or stretch, think about your current fitness level and the type of exercise you're going to do.

If you are experiencing a physical problem and want to get it checked by a specialist, it would be best to seek advice from one.

Remember that no single workout regimen works for everyone; set yourself goals, be sure of your abilities, talk to a health professional if you have concerns, and enjoy your activities.

#Glutebridges are part of my #warmup routine. Feet are hip width apart, press thru your mid foot, squeezing your glutes & lifting your hips. Recommend doing 3x10 for your warmups. As you progress, you can do SL glute bridges. These strengthen your smaller muscles for your back.

Now you know the difference between these two terms! If you ever have any doubts, remember that both warmups and stretches help your body achieve a better state of fitness, so make sure to incorporate them into your fitness routine to avoid injuries and let your body do what it was made to do!

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Edited by Diptanil Roy


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