Is Stretching an Aerobic Exercise?

Nearly every activity that we do relies on mobility. Have you ever found yourself unable to accomplish a task or movement to its full range? Or maybe you feel more sore than usual after spending time in the gym to complete your workout routine? 

While these could happen at times, it's also possible that these are a result of you skipping on an essential part of your day-- Stretching.

In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about Stretching and we'll answer the question is stretching an aerobic exercise. Read on and learn more about this fantastic activity. 

Is Stretching an Aerobic Exercise

Is Stretching an Aerobic Exercise?

Stretching is a type of physical activity in which a particular muscle, tendon, or muscle group is purposefully flexed or stretched in order to increase the muscle's perceived flexibility and achieve a comfortable level of muscular tone. This voluntary motion results in increased muscle control, range of motion, and flexibility.

Stretching is an aerobic exercise when it is dynamic. Dynamic stretching involves movements and momentum as you stretch your muscles to their full range of motion. It often mimics our day-to-day movements or activities such as bouncing, swinging, and circling our arms. It can speed up your heartbeat and blood flow, which will boost the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your muscles.

Done as part of a warm-up routine, dynamic stretching is an excellent way to prepare your body for exercise. Examples include walking lunges, spinal rotations and arm swings.

Static stretching, on the other hand, is a form of stretching that is done by holding a single position for a period of time without movement involved. It usually signals the end of a routine and the start of the recovery process.

This type of stretching does not fit the criteria of an aerobic exercise as it does not elevate our heart rate and increase our endurance like an aerobic exercise would.

What are Aerobic Exercises?

Aerobic exercise is any physical activity that increases our heart rate, changes our breathing rate, and increases our body temperature for an extended period of time. This is due to our body working to deliver enough oxygen to our muscles to produce the adequate amount of energy we need.

Often linked to a healthy heart, aerobic exercises offer many health benefits such as stronger bones, better weight control, and increased metabolism. Regular training with aerobic exercises can also improve one's cardiovascular health and reduce the risks of heart disease.

Other Benefits of Stretching

Whether you're a fitness beginner or an experienced athlete, stretching is essential for your overall health and well-being and should be a part of any workout routine. Read on to learn about what stretching can do to our bodies if done correctly and regularly.

  • It helps you start and finish your exercises safely and more efficiently by keeping your muscles not only flexible but also strong and healthy.
  • When done correctly, stretching helps reduce tension in our muscles which often results in pain or injuries. 
  • Stretching soothes soreness and relieves pain after a hard workout or sport. Stretching increases blood supply to the muscles, which also results in increased nutrient supply
  • Doing stretching exercises on a regular basis aligns and strengthens the muscles which not only improves flexibility but also helps achieve good posture.
  • On top of the physical benefits, stretching is good for sleep as it calms our minds and relieves stress after a long day of work.

Tips on Stretching

  • Just like other exercises, it takes time and practice for your body to get used to stretching. Build a stretching routine by doing it every day or aim for a 5–10-minute stretching before and after you do your exercises.
  • Stretching is not a warm-up activity and is an exercise on its own. Warm-up should be done before proceeding with stretching. It can be as simple as walking or jogging in place.
  • Don't exert yourself past your level of comfort. Stretching should provide up to mild tension only and not pain. Stop immediately once you feel discomfort or pain.
  • Stretching is not a one-time thing. Best results and progress will be achieved if done on a regular basis. Stretch for at least twice or three times per week.


So, is stretching an aerobic exercise? We have learned that dynamic stretching is an aerobic exercise that involves movements as you stretch your muscles, boosting your heart rate and increasing your endurance. However, static stretching is not considered aerobic.  Why not go try both and experiment yourself? Aerobic or not stretching can make you feel good!

Kevin Harris