This post first appeared on Netfit - Fitness. READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

The warm-up is one of the key elements to any successful stretching program and, as such, you should allocate an adequate amount of time within your workout or stretching routine to enable your muscles to become adequately warm.

Muscles can only achieve maximum performance when all their blood vessels are dilated, enabling sufficient blood flow. At rest, muscles only utilize 15-20 percent of blood flow, compared to 70 percent, or more, after only 10 minutes of activity.

Stretching cold muscles is like stretching a piece of un-chewed chewing gum, it will simply split or tear, this is what can happen to your muscles; however once the gum is chewed, it becomes very pliable and you can pull it wide apart without tearing – once warm, your muscles will stretch further, giving a greater range of movement which will increase performance and reduce injury.

Therefore, ensuring that before any exercise you

 link source - Netfit - Fitness READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

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