We’re all talking about what to eat for muscle growth, how to workout, how to eliminate muscular fever and all sorts of other things, but we’ve neglected a pretty important topic, such as the stretching. Maybe you’re much more aware of warm-up but stretching is neglected without any reason. Lately, many people are looking for a method on how to improve their flexibility. Does stretching increase flexibility? That’s the question. Let’s find out!
Although the benefits of any physical activity are outlined in all the possible ways, the benefits of warming up and stretching are by far neglected, although they are equally important.
Why stretching exercises?
Stretching exercising is important because it:
- Reduces muscle tension
- Improves the amplitude of the joints movement
- Improves the muscles coordination
- Improves blood circulation to various parts of the body
- Improves the energy levels
- Eliminates the stress
- Helps you lose weight
- Improves the posture
Types of stretching exercises
Stretching is something absolutely natural for all of us, though quite complicated many times. You may have noticed that if you stay in a certain position for a long time, then you unconsciously stretch. In addition to making you feel good, a consistent stretch schedule will also lead to gains in mobility and to improved joint movements.
Tissue quality is important and if the stretching is done properly, it can further improve your condition. Generally, there are two major types of stretching, the static stretching, and the dynamic stretching.
Dynamic stretching – before training.
Dynamic stretching involves the muscles by demanding the maximum amplitude of the movements by mobilizing the joints.
Don’t forget to warm-up before stretching!
Static stretching – during and after training.
The typical ‘stretch and hold’ method is known as the static stretching. Since static stretching works by calming the nervous system, we can use it to our advantage during training.
If we notice that a muscle becomes too involved in an exercise and is not something we want, we can make some static stretching between working out sets in order to reduce the tension and to put our targeted muscles in more focus.
Benefits of stretching exercising on flexibility
Certainly, the most obvious and promising benefit of stretching is to improve the flexibility and amplitude of the movements.
With the passing of the years, the muscles become more and more rigid and the amplitude of the joints lowers. Decreasing flexibility can cause the movements to become slower and less fluid, making us more susceptible to sprains and other soft tissue injuries. Normally this will affect our entire activity, not just the physical activity.
An improving flexibility is accompanied by improving the balance and coordination.
Rigid and strained muscles can also contribute to a wrong posture. Stretching helps ensure a correct posture by simply stretching the rigid muscles. Stretching your lumbar, chest, and shoulder muscles can help you keep your column in better alignment and improve your posture.
It is true that it is still under debate whether stretching can really represent a way to prevent injuries but it is clear that stretching exercises can help improve blood circulation in the muscles.
A better circulation will also ensure better nutrients transport to the muscles, reducing muscle soreness and helping to reduce the period of recovery in the cases of muscles and joints injuries.
The less you feel the muscular soreness, the less painful it will be to work on the next muscles group during your workout sessions.
How to do stretching exercising?
When exercising for flexibility, keep the stretching position for at least 30 seconds, or up to 60 seconds for extremely tensed muscles.
These exercises, like any other, must be done with responsibility and not superficially.
Also, do not jump from one point to the next. You need to keep your initial position right and slowly stretch to the end point if you want to relax your muscles. It is not advisable to ‘cut’ the exercises because it is risky to produce muscle’s micro-lesions. This lesions will cause the connective tissue to suffer and the muscles will become even more rigid.
Another detail that you have to pay attention to is that the old saying ‘No pain, no gain’ does not apply here. Your wish is to feel how the muscles stretch, but you do not want to feel pain. If you feel any pain, then don’t force your muscles.
Of course, do not forget to breathe during the exercises! Breathing helps to oxygenate your muscles tissues.
The conclusion, which is, in fact, the answer to our ‘Does stretching increase flexibility?’ question is that stretching is really helpful in improving flexibility, mobility, and posture.