The Benefits of Stretching

Published on Author GG RayLeave a comment


Larger chest … a more precise hit on the golf court, better sex … and all these can be achieved with the help of a simple movement.

No man likes to hear that he is rigid. In fact, there is only one context in which the word “rigid” is perceived as a compliment.

If it is taken out of that particular context, no one would like to be characterized as “inflexible” or “rigid”, because there is only one step left to other unpleasant words like “darling, these relationship simply doesn’t work anymore”, or wore “make sure I get the alimony on time”.

A rigid body is not a reason for divorce, but from a certain point of view it is a sort of a separation process given to our wellbeing state we all want.

If your hips posterior muscles are too rigid, than it is possible to make some “runner knees”, a painful disease and which will take you off the court for a while.

Rigid breastplates limit your strength and increase the risk of accidents in your shoulders’ area. And if the pelvis’s muscles are not flexible enough, your swimming capacity will be substantially decreased – in a situation like this you don’t feel like swimming in the open like you did once.

The moves we present to you in the following lines represent a combination of exercises that relax the muscles and increase the flexibility in the critical areas of the body. It doesn’t matter how you arrange and fit them – you will no longer hear noises in your articulations, and your muscles will be more flexible than ever. And as a bonus we promise you a wave of energy which will flood your sexual life.

Make your knees younger

At this moment it doesn’t matter a bit that you don’t make a record in the 100m running. If you are like most of the other men, meaning you have your joints not lubricated, noisy and painful, you must know that the lack of flexibility, to which your muscles also contribute, is an essential reason for your pains.

“If you have flexibility problems, the moves performed at the level of your articulations cannot be accomplished by passing through the entire physiologically possible amplitude, meaning you will force your body to do things it is not capable of”, says coach Vinny Comiskey from the US Olympic from the Training Center of Chula Vista, California.

The following stretching exercises offer you a double benefice: they increase the flexibility of the posterior muscles of the inferior limbs, simultaneously with the flexibility of the anterior muscles.

Modified lunges

  • Find a smooth surface, on which you wouldn’t slip, and support your body on the right knee, having your left leg stretched in front, with support on the heel and with the toes oriented up.
  • Keep your right hand on the floor for equilibrium, lie in front, move the weight on your left leg and hold the toes with your left hand.
  • Pull the toes forward until you feel a stretching sensation in the posterior part of your left leg.
  • You should also feel a stretch in the anterior part of the right thigh.
  • Keep this position for 30 seconds (or as much as you can), than relax. Alternate the legs. Make 3 to 5 stretches with each leg.

Add 3 centimeters in your chest’s width

It is just an assumption I make but I think you are very proud of the size and the strength of your breastplates muscles, or you would be very proud if the months or the years in which you have done chest pushing would have produced some changes of the size and strength.

Actually, all the time that you have spent on the bench seems to have affected negatively this area.

Mike Bracko, a specialist in sports physiology at the American College of Sports Medicine, says that if you work your chest too much, the breastplate muscles get shorter in a way and they become rigid.

This means that the muscles you are trying to develop will pull your shoulders ahead and will spin your arms inside, having as an effect the sensation that your breastplate muscles are smaller than they really are.

And because of the normal alignment of the shoulders being modified, there is a higher risk for accidents. To restore the flexibility of your breastplate muscles and to reduce injuries risk (and of course for all the girls to admire your impressive chest, Bracko recommends this exercise.

Perform it after a warm-up, but before the force exercises for your breastplates. Cross stretching, stand with your soles spread at the width of your shoulders and with your knees tightly flexed. Raise your arms in order to form a “t” with the chest and keep your palms oriented down.

Spin tightly your thumbs behind and pull your chest forward, pulling your hands through the posterior. Try to put the shoulder blade in line, increasing the movement amplitude.

Now, instead of holding the stretch for a long time, perform five “pulsatile” stretches. This means that you will “throw” your arms behind for a few centimeters and then allow them to come forward for a few centimeters.

You have to repeat this movement for 2-3 series of 5 “pulsations”, than continue with a series of 10 push-ups. Only at this moment you may consider yourself ready to work your chest muscles.

Although clacking your vertebras for a couple of times after a long period of immobility is a method which has entered in the “arsenal” of those who spend their life at the office, this doesn’t have any effect on the lumbar muscles, according to Richard Cotton.

When working out or engaging in sports you stretch your muscles and ligaments beyond the normal daily limits. Extreme muscle stretching may cause a lot of damage to the muscle and to the ligament. But, controlled warm up and muscle stretching add flexibility needed for the extended movements you make while practicing sports. And also, the flexibility you get from stretching will improve your climbing performance.

There are a lot of advantages of muscle stretching. For example, muscle stretching before sports improves circulation and blood flow which gives muscles the flexibility to move freely.

Practiced during sports, muscle stretching improves coordination, balance, accuracy and makes your muscles less prone to injury.

After sports, muscle stretching improves recovery time.

During training, stretching helps improve muscle imbalances which are caused when some muscles are more warmed up and ready for exertion than others. If your muscles are not stretched equally, they are said to be imbalanced. Muscle imbalance makes you less coordinated and can contribute to injury such as pulled or strained muscles.

There are two types of muscle stretching which provide best result, known as “Static” and “Dynamic” muscle stretching.

The Static Muscle Training is the way to increase flexibility.

It means to hold the stretch with low force for a long time. It is important not to use too much pressure. Your body has its own automatic stretch reflex. It is important for you to keep the degree of stretch and force under the level of the stretch reflex point. You must hold the low force against the pull of your muscle for a number of seconds. Count the seconds silently and repeat the stretch in sets of the same length of time and force. You can create passive muscle stretching by holding it with your other arm or leg, or have a partner who applies the pressure.

The Dynamic Muscle Training

Is done by gradually increasing the stretch distance and speed of movement with each successive repetition in a particular direction. You must control the movement in order for the limit of the muscle to increase gradually. Quick movements must be avoided in this type of stretching. Slow controlled side to side movement of legs or arms or torso is dynamic stretching. You should perform dynamic stretching in sets of 5 to 10 repetitions, but try to avoid overstretching.

Before you start muscle stretching routines, you must always warm up. Do low intensity bouldering for about five minutes using big holds and big foot hold. Alternatively, you can do jog; do a few sit-ups and pushups. Prepare muscles for stretching by increasing your blood flow. The purpose of the warm up is to increase your heart rate for about five minutes. At this point, you are ready for stretching your muscles. If you skip warm up or try to stretch to agressively, a nerve reflex, called the “stretch reflex” takes place. It is an automatic response caused when nerve fibres are stretched. It causes your muscles to contract against the direction of muscles stretch. This could lead to pain which reduces athletic performance. You must stay relaxed while you stretch, work up to flexibility gradually and stay in control of your muscles to prevent stretch reflex.

Here are some examples of muscle stretching routines:

Slow Torso Twist

When you do this type of stretching, place your hands on your hips and twist left then right in sets. Use the dynamic stretching technique to stretch the torso muscles. Be careful not to twist suddenly or you risk overstretching. Flexibility in the torso muscles will improve movements used in climbing.

Backbent is performed by putting your palms on the floor and arch your back both directions. This will add flexibility for your lower back muscles.

Modifier Hurdler’s Stretch

You must extend one leg behind you and other in front. Lean forward and backward to gently stretch the quadriceps. This stretch limbers muscles needed to perform leg climbing moves.

Thigh Stretch

You should stretch your adductor inner thigh and abductor outer thigh muscles. Stretch the front and back of the thigh quadriceps muscles and back of the hamstring muscles.

Toe Touches. Keep your knees straight and your back bent. Place your feet a meter apart. Touch your right and left toes with both fingertips in turn. Continue to extend, using dynamic stretching.

How can you prevent stretching injuries?

Rational strength training that balances strength of opposing muscle groups, for one. Research shows that great differences in strength between two opposing muscle groups, for example, having a hamstring-quadriceps ratio lower than 61%, as well as a strength imbalance of 8–10% between right and left hamstrings, are the main causes of hamstring injuries. In case of excessive tension (excessive neural stimulation) or weakness (excessive neural inhibition) caused by misaligned joints or neurological problems, typical strength training exercises will not help either.

Typical strength exercises will either overstress the overly tensed muscles or will bypass the weak ones by recruiting others to do their job. To fix such problems you need the help of an applied kinesiology specialist who, among other modes of treatment, may prescribe special exercises for normalizing the tension of muscles.

Another way of preventing injuries is learning the efficient form of movements. Eliminate those moments in your techniques in which you use the sudden tension of already stretched muscles to counter the fast movement of a relatively big mass. Such tensions may lead to tears in the muscles of a supporting leg in kicking, for example. A good technique feels effortless.

Practice the correct technique and develop a habit of throwing your techniques only when the distance is right to keep yourself from straining your muscles. There are many other causes of injuries ranging from the wrong exercises to such factors as an improper exercise surface (floor too stiff, mat too soft), temperature, humidity, ventilation, and gym lighting (big contrasts in illumination and colors can cause difficulties in estimating space relationships).

When stretching, you must warm up your muscles for at least five minutes, fell your muscle’s natural limit, start stretching slowly, breathe deeply to your full lung capacity, and concentrate on staying relaxed. But avoid stretching up to the point of pain, do not stretch a muscle beyond its natural range, do not bounce when you perform muscle stretching, and do not extend to the point of muscle stretch reflex.

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