MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Trainers say stretching a few minutes before and after your workout can to wonders to help you avoid injury.

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Meg Skaar, a personal trainer at LifeTime Fitness, suggests using a foam roller to loosen up the muscles in your legs

“This will help prevent knee pain,” said Skaar.

There are other leg stretches, seen in the video above, that Skaar says are generally the most effective. The stretches should be held for 20 seconds for a few rounds if needed.

Pre-workout is also a great time to focus on hydration. LifeTime recommends drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day and the water you drink during a workout doesn’t count towards that total.

Stretching after a workout will help in recovery.

Skaar said the stretches seen in the video below will help avoid injury at the gym.

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“When you think about you and your muscles, you’re a crusty rubber band,” said Skaar. “When you start to kneed your muscles together, you’re going to be a loose rubber band and you’re not going to injure yourself.”

When you’re finished with a workout, trainers at LifeTime say to eat carbohydrates and protein within 45 minutes.

Here is the warm-up moves LifeTime recommends before and after a workout.


Loosening IT band and calf with foam roller
Stretching hip flexor

Post-workout stretches:

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Upper body