Although in most cases it is not granted the right amount of attention, stretching is as important as workout itself.Stretching may accompany workout or may be performed separately, the benefits it bringing plenty of benefits to a healthy life. It is important to note that stretching may make a difference between obtaining or not obtaining results at the gym.
How does stretching help you?
Stretching involves slow stretching the muscles in order to relax and tone them.IT springs from Hatha Yoga, gymnastics and classical ballet and the moves were adapted over time so that it fits physical training.Stretching exercise has the role of increasing the stretching limit of the muscles and joints and thus increasing their flexibility and resilience and is recommended for middle-aged and elderly individuals.A big advantage of stretching is that it can be done at the gym, but also at home, at the office or in nature, not being conditioned by the existence of fitness equipment.
How is stretching correctly performed?
Stretching may also be performed before workout, after light warm up, but it becomes essential and mandatory at the end of the workout. The duration of a stretching exercise must be approximately 10 minutes, time in which you stretch only those muscles that you worked out during that gym session.Thus, every stretching position should be maintained for 10 seconds and, as you advance with stretching training you can maintain it up to 30 seconds.
Type of stretching exercise
There are several types of stretching exercises: active, passive, dynamic and assisted.
• Active stretching involves pulling at a limb in order to stretch that muscle.
• In passive stretching you allow gravitation to pull at a limb and stretch its muscle.The best example is bar hang.
• Dynamic stretching involves that each position be maintained for less than a second.In this case, usually centrifugal force is used to stretch the muscles and the best examples of this type of exercises are arm rotating or touching the foot with the opposite hand.
• In assisted stretching it is necessary for you to be helped by someone, for example, your coach, who should apply force on certain limbs to stretch your muscles.
The benefits of stretching
Stretching moves improve your body's flexibility and mobility so that the risk of injury decreases and your physical performance increases.Also, it significantly contributes to improving body posture and maintaining your spine straight.When you do stretching, you practically release the tension in your muscles which is responsible for their rigidity and implicitly for the correct posture of the body.This makes stretching useful in eliminating back pain.
Another major benefit of stretching is muscle strengthening.You may not know this, but it takes stretching to increase muscle mass.Even if it cannot replace power workout, stretching works the muscles in a similar manner, however, less intensely.Thus, by stretching, micro-lesions are caused at the level of the muscle fibers, which force the body to recover and grow stronger.
On the other hand, stretching improves blood circulation and supports correct nourishment of muscles and cartilages, which helps considerably ion shortening the time to recovery after workout and implicitly, it reduces muscle soreness.
Additionally, stretching contributes to relaxing the entire body by increasing stamina, which conducts to stress reduction.
Stretching has no contraindications, but it is not recommended in case of recent fractures, joint or ligament sprain.
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