Stretching Exercises - Instant Flexibility with connective Tissue Stretching



Stretching Exercises are must they say. Proper Exercises Stretches are crucial they say. Most People never get Stretching Right. They try to stretch their muscles, their ligaments or their tendons.

And they fail. Why? Simple. These structures do not stretch.

Proper Stretching Exercises Involve working on reducing Muscle Tension and working on connective tissues which CAN stretch and lengthen.

Inside this Article

So What Is Stretching and Why Should you do it?

Do you want to know one simple secret that takes just 5-10 minutes but if done properly will give you a balanced, flexible body ready to take up the challenge of your next killer workout OR which if neglected or done improperly can hurt you or even sideline you for a month or more due to injury?

"Its called Proper Stretching Exercise and its worth its weight in Gold".

Are you ready to get extremely flexible, train safer and better? Then Proper Stretching is the way to go.

Stretching is the most neglected area in Weight Training. But it is vitally important to stretch for a better flexible body in the long run.

Here we will discuss Benefits of Stretching, time to stretch, Techniques and Best Stretching Exercises.


Benefits of Stretching Exercises

Stretching is deliberate lengthening of Connective Tissues around your Muscles. Stretches is much more than bending and moving around. It is the best known way to become more flexible, increase joint mobility, prevent Training injuries and improve circulation, posture and relieve stress. I can go on and on but I will summarize it for you.

Stretching

  • Maintains the pliability of muscles thus avoiding injuries
  • Increases range of motion allowing you to train harder.
  • Improves flexibility and range of motion.
  • Removes waste products from blood and therefore vital during workouts in between sets.

New Benefit - Reduction of DOMS [Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness].

  • A recent study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine has shown that flexibility reduces the chances of Muscle soreness. The study has shown that stiff, less-flexible Muscles undergoes more muscle fiber damage in Intense Weight Training resulting in loss of Muscle strength. When you exercise in presence of Muscle damage, as you know, the exercise intensity and effectiveness drastically reduces.

This is another reason why you should take stretching seriously. 5 minutes of these Stretching Exercises will do a world of benefit for you.


The Critical Points in your Stretching Routines.
 

  1. Stretching is a gift and overstretching is a curse. NEVER overstretch beyond the point of pain. It is opposite to what we learn in the Weight Training world that pain means gain . But in the Stretching world you goal is to become more flexible, improve your range of motion { ROM }.
     
  2. Perform a 5-10 minute before you stretch. Get the blood flowing in your muscles. Warm muscles respond better to stretching. No treadmills? heard of high knees or jumping lunges? No more excuses to warm up.
     
  3. High intensity weight training when done using partials and limited range of motions may result in less flexibility. To avoid this always perform stretches for both agonists and antagonists. Example - Biceps and triceps stretching, chest and back stretches together, etc.
     
  4. Wear loose clothes and begin with your tight muscles first. They are the weak link. Make them flexible and then move to other areas.
     
  5. Progress at your own speed. You compete with your-previous-self and not the gymnast you see in your gym or at the park. Older people have reduced flexibility due to fibrosis { degenerating muscle is replaced by dense fibrous connective tissue} and therefore should start small and take it from there.
     
  6. Make it fun and enjoy the exercises. Stretching is very painful mentally for people who can see nothing but weight machines when they hit the gym. But stretching will prepare your muscles for the oncoming slaughter and your lifts WILL improve.
     
  7. Not many people stretch. But not many people build Muscle, lose weight and build the body of their dreams - Strong, fit and flexible.
     
  8. Without Stretching your range of motion will be so restrictive that any longer range of movement could result in injury.


When to Stretch ?

Stretch before your workout for 3 -5 minutes, after your workout for 3 -5 minutes and stretch the muscle group you are exercising in between sets. They are called warm up stretches and cool down stretches respectively.

Before workout stretching will increase the range of motion and exercise performance. Also it is less likely to skip stretching this way.

After workouts, the range of motion can be further increased as the increased muscle temperature increases the elastic properties of muscle and its stretch properties. Stretching after exercising also reduces DOMS.
 

The Stretching Technique
 

Although there are many types of Stretching like Ballistic Stretching, PNF stretching and Isometric Stretching, for the purpose of this article we will use the best active stretches available.

  • Stretch after a light Cardio warm up. Perform treadmill or bicycle for 5 minutes and stretch.
     
  • Breathe normally. Do not hold your breath during stretching.
     
  • Stay away from the pain zone as you would not like to injure the soft connective tissue elements.
     
  • Its important to focus on the muscle group under stretch.
     
  • Stretching Requires slow, gentle movements. Avoid bouncing forceful moves as it will only hurt you. I have illustrated excellent Stretching Exercises by Body part below. Perform them before start of each weight training session for 30 - 60 secs each.
     

Example - Side Bends. When performing side bends, stretch to s side for 10-15 secs. Then relax that muscle group. Take a deep stretch and stretch again. 3-5 such repetitions and you move on to next stretch.
 

Always stretch and hold that position for 10-15 seconds. Also do not spend too much time and energy stretching. Some people recommend stretching for longer duration but it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate and has a high drop-out rate.


Heavy Connective Tissue Stretches
 

Heavy Stretches just mean using Weights while stretching for additional force. Stretching using Weights help expand Connective Tissues. The improvements in range of motion in athletes who stretch are due to the connective tissue adaptations.

A typical Example is a Calf Stretch or a Back Stretch.

Perform regular Calf raises or Chin Ups but hold the position at the bottom of these movements for 10-15 seconds. Feel that stretch. Getting the idea? Now try it in your next workout and help your muscle belly grow. It WORKS only IF you try.


Related Article:  Do Rebounder Exercises on Trampoline help flexibility?


Stretching Exercises

Here are Cool Six Stretching Exercises. Click the play button to watch. There are many more stretches below the video. Use them too. Happy Stretching.

ExerciseGoals.com Recommends - The Stretching Handbook.

135 Stretching & Flexibility Exercises.

Take your Flexibility to the next level with
over 135 Stretching and Flexibility Exercises.
Improve your athletic performance, eradicate
sports injury and do away with tight, stiff
muscles.

Click here to find out more on The Stretching Handbook.



Have A Great Stretching exercise or Workout?

Do you have a great story about this? Share it!

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]

 

Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.


(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

I Love stretching and so should you. Here's How... Not rated yet
Its really great to stretch before a workout. Although i am a beginner, i still would recommend it to everyone. I have been a gymnast all my childhood. …

Hamstring Stretch taught by my coach yesterday Not rated yet
My coach taught us an excellent hamstring stretch today. Here is how he made us do and it gave me a real good stretch. 1. Lie down on your back and …

Click here to write your own.


Common Stretching Exercise Questions and Answers

  1. Which is better for stretching, yoga or pilates?

    Even though pilates has some stretching included in it, yoga focuses more on stretching. So the answer to this question would be yoga.

     
  2. Can a person grow by doing stretching exercises?

    There are no promises that exercise and stretching will get any one taller, but it has been stated that it is very possible.

     
  3. Can stretching heal herniated discs?

    There are stretching exercises that do to heal a herniated disc, however it is best to do these with caution due to potentially harmful results.

     
  4. Are there any stretches for people who sit all day?

    Yes, there are some very simple stretches that can help. These stretches focus on your neck, arms, legs and your torso.

     
  5. Why is stretching your muscles important after a warm up but before exercising?

    This is basically because warming up means that you are literally warming your body temperature up, and preparing your body for the exertion of the upcoming exercising.

     
  6. Is stretching before exercise necessary?

    Yes, stretching is necessary, it helps your body to avoid any injury from sudden exertion.

     
  7. What kind of stretching exercises can Catholics do other than yoga?

    Catholics can engage in simple stretching and exercising techniques that do not involve any sort of religious meditation.

     
  8. Any do's or don'ts of stretching?

    Yes, there are several on both sides of the fence. Some of the do's are: make sure you relax, warm up first, and control your breathing. Some of the don'ts are as follows: don't hold your breath, and do not focus on just one part of your body. There are plenty more of these do's and don'ts that you should look into.

     
  9. How does ligament stretching during pregnancy feel?

    The pain that comes from stretched ligaments during pregnancy has been reported to be comparable to apendicits pains. It is said that this is not harmful to the baby, but the mother should schedule an appointment with their doctor at the first sign of this type of pain.

     
  10. How should I warm up before stretching?

    You should start with joint rotations, and then begin a five minute aerobic warm up to raise your temperature. Then you should start to stretch your back and mid section then your upper and lower portions of your body. Be sure to include some stretches that are specific to the type of activity that you plan on doing. Each stretch should last ten to thirty seconds, they should also get close to a little bit of discomfort and then you can push a little farther but be sure not to go too far.

     
  11. Are there any stretches for hip flexors to help with bursitis?

    For this type of issue you can concentrate on these types of stretches: standing pelvic thrusts, lying hip flexor stretch, seated hip flexor stretch, and the runner's stretch.

     
  12. Are there any stretches that will help for doing splits?

    Yes, there are some stretches that can help your body become more able to do splits. Two of them are lateral lunge and the quad stretch. Check into more stretches that can help you depending on what kind of split you are trying to do.

     
  13. What are good stretches to do to increase flexibility?

    For increasing your flexibility you should really concentrate on your warm ups and cool downs. You can do your stretches early in the morning, and you can also do pnf stretching every other day with static stretching done on the off days.

     
  14. What stretches to do to warm up before exercising?

    There are a lot that you can do, some of the exercises that are great for warming up are the side lunge and the lower back cat stretch.

     
  15. How to do pnf stretches?

    Which ever muscles you are trying to work with have to be stretched in a manner that puts them under tension. You need to contract the muscle by using resistance to keep it from moving. After that you can relax the muscles. Then you will push the stretch past the point that you would normally and hold it for about thirty seconds. Then relax the muscles once again, and then you can repeat this process.

     
  16. Does it hurt to do lower back stretches?

    Lower back stretches tend to relieve pain more often than to cause pain.

     
  17. Does it hurt to sit and do stretches?

    As long as you are not pushing your stretches too far it should never hurt. Typically any stretching that causes pain is done wrong or for too long.

     
  18. If I slouch, should I do knee to chest stretches?

    Yes, you can still do these types of stretches, but they will not be effective of the limited range of mobility and the inability to lay flat on a surface.

     
  19. What are some good stretches to do before running?

    You should start by stretching the hip muscles first then work your way down to the muscles in your legs. You can do this by doing hip flexors, glute stretches and other types of leg muscles stretches.

     
  20. Any stretches to do to get taller?

    Yes, there are yoga stretches that focus on the spine, these both relieve pain and to increase height by a small amount.

     
  21. What are dynamic stretches?

    These are a type of stretching that uses fluid movement, instead of holding a steady position like the typical stretching exercises normally do.

     
  22. What are static stretches?

    Static stretches help to lengthen the muscles by pushing them to the farthest point that you can with out causing injury. This can be done with the basic hold stretch, the hold and relax method, as well as the hold and contract method. Using these in a routine will help you perform static stretching exercises.

Go Back to Top of Stretching Exercises and Workouts Page

Go from Stretching Exercises and Workouts to Weight Training Homepage.