Stretching is often overlooked, but it is a fundamental element of any workout. Here because.
Sometimes underestimated, stretching is a critical part of performing physical activity. It protects the muscles from injury and improves performance, as we explain now.
In this article, we show you how important muscle stretching or stretching is for our body, and for the sport, we practice so that you always insert it in your sessions.
The importance of stretching
Although physical activity is healthy and useful, for our body it is an “abnormal” situation and for this reason, it will tend to restore the balance prior to physical exertion.
Here are some of the main benefits of stretching :
- helps prevent muscle injury ;
- avoid strains;
- eliminates muscle tension;
- prepares the body for exercise ;
- improves blood circulation ;
- promotes the absorption of lactic acid thus reducing fatigue;
- leads to a state of relaxation both bodily and mental at the end of physical activity;
- it helps us know our bodies.
By ending our stretching sessions, we will help the muscles recover from the micro-traumas we have caused by transforming them into more serious ailments. Some of these, such as tendinitis, may become chronic.
“If you really want it you will find the way, otherwise you will find an excuse”
In addition to these benefits, there are other positive effects of muscle stretching. For example, taking some time to stretch at the end of the sessions will help your muscles recover faster by strengthening them and preparing them for a later effort.
Making stretching properly
Although there are those who prefer to stretch their muscles before starting the activity, it is preferable to start with a warm-up session and only go to the stretch at the end of the session. Like? Here are some tips:
- Take the right time. It is important to relax all the muscles, even if you only have to work a few. It will take about ten minutes that you will have to take into account when planning the sessions.
- Find the correct position. Static elongation must be done by keeping the position for a few seconds, without ever incurring sudden movements.
- Start from the bottom to get to the top. To promote blood flow and not to forget any area of the body, it is good to start from the feet to the head. Stretch the hamstrings, go up the thighs, the quadriceps, and so on up to the neck without forgetting the arms.
- Relax and breathe. Breathing is one of the key points of stretching. Inhale during the stretch phase and exhale when you return to position. Close your eyes, relax, concentrate and breathe deeply several times.
- Listen to your muscles. Stretches are not simple movements; you must feel the pressure of the muscle that you are stretching, but not feel pain. If so, it would mean that you are doing them the wrong way.
- Each stretch must last approximately 30 seconds.
- If you feel pain and feel that the muscle remains contracted, it is possible that you are experiencing muscle strain. Stop and massage the area while trying, a few seconds later, to stretch again and slowly continuing to massage.
When not to do
Although it is very important, there are some situations where stretching is absolutely not recommended:
- in the presence of fractures or injuries;
- in case of joint inflammation ;
- if you are suffering from osteoarthritis or disorders of the skeletal system;
- in case of pain. If you experience some kind of ailment, there is likely to be something wrong and therefore it would be better to investigate it by talking to your doctor or physiotherapist.
It is easy to guess how important stretching is in sports, as thanks to it, effort-related injuries and pains are avoided. If you don’t know how to program a stretching sequence, you can contact your instructor.