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Stretch it Out!

Stretch? Most people would not consider working on a construction site to be an athletic event. But those who do dig with a shovel, pick up cinder blocks, or drive equipment know that it is not unusual to come home from work each day with sore muscles and aches.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent those after-work aches with a few minutes of warm-ups before beginning work.

Why is stretching important? The most common injury on a construction job site typically involves the back. Professional studies show that if a person injures their back, they are more likely to suffer a re-injury because they are used to the same behavior and repetition could cause the same or similar injury. Also, injured back muscles and ligaments are more susceptible to re-injury. Stretching will greatly reduce the likelihood of a new or existing injury.

Warming up the body with 10- to 15-minute stretching exercises can energize your body by increasing blood flow to the muscles, making them more limber and less likely to be injured. A short exercise routine increases your muscles’ ability to do work, and makes them less susceptible to injury.

By stretching, you are preventing injuries. Strong, pre-stretched muscles resist injury better than strong muscles that have not been stretched.

Some stretching tips:
• Your stretches should be relaxed, sustained and gradual. Do not bounce!
• Your breathing should be slow, rhythmical and under control. Do not hold your breath!
• Avoid stretching cold muscles. Remember, do your dynamic stretches first!
• Avoid over-stretching. A stretch should not be painful; you should only feel mild discomfort.
• Exhale as you begin the stretch; inhale slowly as you hold the stretch.
• Silently count the seconds for each stretch; this will ensure that you hold the proper tension for a sufficient period.

Before long, stretching will become second nature and you will be able to feel the gradual relaxation of your muscles. Just remember to keep in mind that if the stretch causes you pain, stop!

Neff Rental suggests the importance of stretching before work in all its branches coast to coast. For more information about Neff Rental, call 888-709-NEFF, or visit us at

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