Learn Why Stretching is Important

Stretching has been used more often lately in sports training. The word stretch, used in this sense, means “to make your arms, legs and body as straight as possible so that your muscles become long and tight.” Specifically, we’re talking about the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.

Stretching has always been used in activities and sports that require good joint mobility and supple muscles (including gymnastics and martial arts). Although they went through transformations, the specific positions used in hatha yoga inspired the movements used in stretching.

The best reason to stretch is to make your muscles and joints supple, which in turn causes you to be more effective while training. Some believe that stretching should be used for relaxation as well as warming up. Others think that stretching should only be used for the purposes of relaxation because the movements used while stretching induce a state of relaxation that’s undesirable at the start of training. The state of relaxation results from maintaining the passive faze of the positions.

Anyway, everybody agrees that stretching needs to be anticipated by general warming up, this way the practitioner will avoid tightening of the muscles. General warming up includes aerobic exercises and takes about five minutes. If you don’t warm up your muscles before stretching you’ll be taking a chance on ending up with a pulled muscle. Both weight and resistance training should include stretching; the effectiveness will only increase once this type of movement is done during training.

Another reason for higher effectiveness is the fact that a bigger number of motive units are involved in the movement and they are mobilized faster once the volitional order is transmitted, through the motive impulse, to the muscles. Given the fact that the range of the movements is larger, the sportsman can cover bigger distances, larger scopes, saving, at the same time, energy, which is important especially in very demanding sports (athletics, canoeing, etc).

Whole training routines can be made up of only stretching exercises. This isn’t advisable though because the muscles will get used to only relaxing and never contracting. Other possible negative results of stretching joints past their limits are sprains, dislocations, tightening of ligaments and tightening of tendons. The mobility of each of the main joints (knee, shoulder, elbow, etc), as well as the elasticity of the surrounding muscles, protect them.

In conclusion, a comprehensive fitness routine has to include other forms of training in addition to stretching.

Stretching has always been used in activities and sports that require good joint mobility and supple muscles (including gymnastics and martial arts). Although they went through transformations, the specific positions used in hatha yoga inspired the movements used in stretching.

The best reason to stretch is to make your muscles and joints supple, which in turn causes you to be more effective while training. Some believe that stretching should be used for relaxation as well as warming up. Others think that stretching should only be used for the purposes of relaxation because the movements used while stretching induce a state of relaxation that’s undesirable at the start of training. The state of relaxation results from maintaining the passive faze of the positions.

Anyway, everybody agrees that stretching needs to be anticipated by general warming up, this way the practitioner will avoid tightening of the muscles. General warming up includes aerobic exercises and takes about five minutes. If you don’t warm up your muscles before stretching you’ll be taking a chance on ending up with a pulled muscle. Both weight and resistance training should include stretching; the effectiveness will only increase once this type of movement is done during training.

Another reason for higher effectiveness is the fact that a bigger number of motive units are involved in the movement and they are mobilized faster once the volitional order is transmitted, through the motive impulse, to the muscles. Given the fact that the range of the movements is larger, the sportsman can cover bigger distances, larger scopes, saving, at the same time, energy, which is important especially in very demanding sports (athletics, canoeing, etc).

Whole training routines can be made up of only stretching exercises. This isn’t advisable though because the muscles will get used to only relaxing and never contracting. Other possible negative results of stretching joints past their limits are sprains, dislocations, tightening of ligaments and tightening of tendons. The mobility of each of the main joints (knee, shoulder, elbow, etc), as well as the elasticity of the surrounding muscles, protect them.

In conclusion, a comprehensive fitness routine has to include other forms of training in addition to stretching.

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