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Benefits of Stretching Techniques
- Stretching exercises can be more than just a prelude to a more intense workout.
- Stretching makes you more flexible and helps with circulation.
Stretching exercises have long been considered an important part of any exercise routine. Some experts now believe stretching exercises can be more than just a prelude to a more intense workout.
Stretching & Injury Prevention
Although common thinking has always indicated that stretching before exercise was the best way to reduce the risk of injury, more recent research is suggesting no real connection there exists. A study completed in Australia is one of the best examples of this developing research. More than 1,500 male army recruits were included in the study. They were divided into small groups and assigned different stretching routines. After 11 weeks and more than 60,000 hours of training, the study showed no real difference in injury rate between stretchers and non-stretchers.
Based on that study, the real reduction in injuries had to do with other factors, such as overall fitness and coordination. However, much of the medical community continues to recommend stretching before exercise. This may also be a good idea if you feel your muscles are particularly tight.
Other Health Benefits
Of course stretching exercises have plenty of other benefits, too. For one, repeated stretching will make you more flexible. When those muscles aren’t moved enough, they become tight and that makes them more difficult to move. Frequent stretching exercises make the muscles easier to move and this means you’ll be more flexible and be able to improve your overall range of motion. Having a good range of motion will help you maintain better balance, which is essential if you want to minimize your risk of falling.
Stretching also helps with circulation. Evidence shows that stretching exercises done regularly will make the blood flow to your muscles easier. This is good for several reasons, including improved healing time. This means if you do injure yourself, you’ll end up facing less down time.
Stretching is also a great way to relax and relieve stress. Most of us know that stress hits our muscles hard and makes them tense. When you do stretching exercises and alleviate some of that tightness, you will feel more relaxed.
For people who are very overweight and who do very little physical activity, stretching exercises can be a first step in helping introduce more physical movement into their routines. Plus, as their muscles loosen up, they can begin to more easily move towards more active exercises such as walking.
Proper Stretching Techniques
If you are going to be performing stretching exercises before something more intense, be sure to give yourself five to seven minutes of good stretching time. You should also work down the body starting with major muscle groups around your neck, and then slowly move into your legs. Your entire body needs to be stretched thoroughly. Remember not to stretch to the point where you feel pain. Instead, you only want to feel a small amount of tension in the muscles. Hold it for about 15 seconds, and then relax. Always continue breathing normally while you are stretching. This is good for your body and will also help you to relax.
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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Bodybuilding Workout Programs19 Nov 2008|