The Benefits of Stretching And Flexibility
- Updated: January 21, 2012
By Jerry Teixeira of Precision Nutrition Plus
One very often forgotten about element of a good training routine is stretching and flexibility work. Stretching is going to be important for a wide variety of different reasons but yet sadly, very few people actually make the time in their program schedule to allow for this.
Why aren’t athletes stretching as much as they should?
Very often the biggest reason for lack of stretching work is because they just don’t have time. They’re so caught up in performing their cardio and resistance training, along with actual training for their chosen sport or activity that they just don’t think to factor in a good stretching routine.
But, if you want to make the most of your training, stretching must be in place. Let’s have a look at why stretching is a must for a good level of progress.
Stretching Reduces Injury Risk
The very first reason why stretching is so important is because it’s going to decrease your risk of developing an injury. When your muscles are very tight, it’s not going to take much to move them out of their comfortable range of motion to cause pain and/or injury.
The more flexible you are, the more limber your body is and the more limber your body is the better it will be able to handle an unexpected force when it come at it so that, it’ll then be able to handle this force and regain composure more quickly and without injury. One prime example when improved flexibility when help is during an unexpected accident.
If you’re very inflexible, that force is very lightly to cause intense pain immediately and could potentially cause a muscle strain or torn ligament. Although improving your flexibility won’t prevent accidents, it will definitely improve your chances of walking away from one without an injury.
Delayed onset of muscle soreness is something that many people battle with after an intense session of training or racing and it often occurs because of the build-up of lactic acid as well as because the muscles maintain a high degree of tension.
By stretching after the workout or race, you help clear this build-up of lactic acid and also help the muscles relax so that they don’t have that tension causing soreness.
Stretching Improves Muscle Strength
Finally, the last reason why flexibility is important is because it can also increase your muscular strength level as well.
This may come as a surprise, but the reason it can do this is because the more flexible you are, the greater the range of motion you’ll be able to move through, thus the more stress you’ll be able to subject to the muscle cells.
By doing your regular flexibility work, you increase the range of motion that you’re comfortably able to move through, thus improving this factor tremendously.
So there you have the top reasons why stretching and flexibility training is a must. If you’re currently not adding any into your routine, it’s definitely time that you gave it some thought.