Training

The Importance of Stretching

Written by Akesha


The Importance Of Stretching


Stretches? Stretching? What is this foreign language? One only needs the gym and heavy weights! Why is stretching considered so important? You lift, you get stronger. You clean up your diet and get leaner. Why would stretching ever come into your mind? Stretching is for yoga fanatics who love to bend and twist their bodies in unnatural ways until one day you suddenly feel a slight twinge…uh-oh! At this stage, many people chose to ignore this slight twinge and carry on with their daily routine without battering an eyelid, but the pain is still there.

 

Somedays you feel A-okay, but most days your muscles are feeling tight. You wonder what this could be? The generic thing to think is that your body is weak and without any thought, you carry on pushing your body so that it can get stronger. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect and your muscles feel tighter than ever! People tend to only pay attention to things when it is too late, we ignore every warning until the problem is literally staring us in the face. Sad really, because many injuries can be avoided if we would simply just listen to our bodies.

 

For starters, when it comes to stretching, it helps by keeping your muscles flexible and strong. We need the flexibility to maintain the range of movement in our joints. Failure in this and you can kiss goodbye to lifting heavy weights! The beneficial factors of stretching are endless and more people and athletes need to make time to incorporate at least 15mins of stretching.


post workout recovery stretching


Top Five Reasons Why Stretching Is Important


#1 Improved Circulation

 

When you participate in an intense workout, your body works 10x harder and pumps more blood around the body and to the heart, this, in turn, causes the heart to beat at a rapid rate. Stretching helps cool down the body and helps the heart return back to a normal heart rate. The use of stretching also breaks down the feeling of lactic acid that would have built up in your muscles, this then helps in your recovery.


#2 Pain Prevention

 

Stretching correctly after a workout does not completely eradicate the pain, however, it does make it more bearable and minimises it. Especially if you are new to the fitness world, after taking part in a heavy workout your body may feel very sore, stretching properly will help with the pain and make your muscles stronger.


#3 Increased Energy Levels

 

If people stretch properly after a workout, they tend to feel a spike in their energy levels, feeling pumped and ready to go. This happens because once the body cools down, the brain receives signals to release endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones.


pnf calf stretches


#4 Promotes Muscle Tone

 

Stretching helps reduce fatigue and muscle soreness, this, in turn, leaves the muscles pumped and ready to go for the next workout. Training on sore tired muscles will only increase your chances of injury. Giving your body the chance to cool and down and recover properly is a major factor for maintaining healthy and active body.


#5 Increased Muscular Coordination

 

Regular stretches also help with your muscle coordination and help your muscles work in together in sync. This allows greater mobility in certain muscle groups which is very handy for those who partake in functional training.


 

 

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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