We do a lot of exercises to improve flexibility that help to reduce injury and get better results when you’re getting ripped. Whether you’re working with me in Calgary, Canada, or at home using the program, you’ll not only build muscles, you’ll build flexibility and endurance, too. Why is it important to improve flexibility and your range of motion as you get ripped? First and foremost, improved flexibility reduces the potential for injury, which can set any program back for months.
You’ll build muscle mass with flexibility training.
Yes, you read that correctly! A study back in 1993 found that stretching actually boosted muscle growth. It was an animal study using quail showed stretching their wings dramatically increased the muscle growth after 38 days. Stretching works for people, too. It lowers the tension in the muscles, which can slow or reduce the ability of the muscles to grow after working out. It also makes the muscles more efficient, requiring less energy to do more work. The blood flow to the muscle increases when you stretch it, too. Not only does it improve the flow of nutrients, it also improves the removal of waste, like lactic acid that causes muscle pain after working out.
Besides improving muscle mass, stretching has other benefits.
Stretching can help reduce or eliminate the pain some people feel after a workout. It keeps the muscles loose reducing aches and the potential for muscle cramps. You’ll have better posture when you do stretching exercises. Better posture means you look better, too. Think of those models who walk with their heads held high, there’s a reason they do that. They simply look better and trimmer. Flexibility training relaxes you and can also improve your athletic performance.
There are several types of stretches.
Ballistic, dynamic, active, passive, static, isometric and PNF are all types of stretching. However, the two types of stretches most often used are dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretching is great for warming up before a workout. It’s exercises like wide lunges, knees to chest and jump squats that use movement while stretching. It gets the muscles and joints loose and ready to perform. Static stretching is better for cool down exercises. It’s a reach and hold the position stretch. Think touching your toes or the cobra pose. When you’re finished with your workout, your muscles are like jelly and loose. Static stretching at that time is perfect for boosting flexibility.
- There’s a reason that static stretching is used as a cool down exercise. It helps speed up the recovery process of the muscles, which also reduces after workout pain.
- When you’re stretching, stretch until you feel a light pull on the muscles, never until you feel pain. Stretching and flexibility exercises should make you feel good.
- Never do static stretching when your muscles are cold. Whether you jog a little or do some dynamic stretching, get your muscles warmed up first.
- If you have a tight schedule and try to fit in flexibility training, consider letting your daily activities help you do it. Do some stretches after you shower or when your in the tub. The warmth of the water will warm your muscles and loosen them.