ESC: Summer Bodies Day 2, Pilates With Cassey

Melissa Hebeler / E!

Do you stretch every time you work out?

Getting fit for summer is serious business, so if you're really buckling down and doing all the right things (killing it at gym and eating right), it can be insanely frustrating when you don't see the results you want. Before you forgo that next sweat session in favor of a pint of Häagen Dazs, take a good hard look at your stretching habits.

According to Cassey Ho, the founder of Blogilates, you should be stretching before and after every single workout for five minutes. We all know that stretching is important, but because we don't understand why, we've been known to skip it. 

For the ins and outs of proper stretching and to learn why it could be the one thing between you and a hot bod this summer, Cassey explains. 

ESC: Summer Bodies Day 2, Pilates With Cassey

Melissa Hebeler / E!

Dancing Dog

"Dancing dog is a full-body stretch that I like to do in the morning right before I get into my workouts because that really opens up your chest, back and your calves as well," said the pro.

The stretches that you do before your workout (any workout!) should be movement-based. If you jump right into deep holds, you could injure yourself because your body isn't warmed up yet. "Dynamic exercises before your workout will get your blood circulating and make muscles limber, so that during your workout, you can go harder—that's kind of the point," said the Pilates pro.

ESC: Summer Bodies Day 2, Pilates With Cassey

Melissa Hebeler / E!

Cat Cow

"Cat cow is a great dynamic exercise for your abs. People think that core is just the abs, but it's everything from the abs, to the obliques to the back, and this stretches all of that," shared the pro. 

To get started, Cassey is partial to heart-opening dynamic stretches that work your whole body. Since we're always sitting hunched over at desks, anything that encourages that opposite movement is a good place to start. "These types of elongating stretches makes you look taller, more confident and also naturally makes you look slimmer," she shared.

Don't be one those people that peaces out of a workout class right before the 5-minute cool-down. Instead of building heat like before, a proper post-workout stretch (called static stretching), is focused on holding a deep pose. "Say that your workout was leg-focused that day, focus on stretching your legs since that's what needs it," the pro shared.

ESC: Summer Bodies Day 2, Pilates With Cassey

Melissa Hebeler / E!

Twisting Lunge

"Twisting lunge works your hip flexors, and when you're addressing your hips, you're also addressing the rest of your legs. Since most of us are sitting at computers all day, which is really bad for your hamstrings, this dynamic move will help with daily functions like walking, running and going up the stairs," explained the expert.

When you stretch before your workout, you're more limber, so you'll get a deeper stretch at the end. "If you don't end with stretching, your body is going to be tense, and the next day, when you go back to class, your range of motion isn't going to be as good as it could have been," the expert said. By doing both before and after, you'll be able to go harder at your next workout and burn more calories as a result. Win-win. 

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