Most of the guys I know that love to lift weight do not take time to stretch, they just warm up and cool down to avoid injuries and don´t consider stretching to be that important but it has some benefits that can improve their performance on the gym and increase their results.
Since we´re living very fast paced times and our daily lives keep us living with chronic stress we all need to find ways to reduce stress to have good quality sleep every night and to be able to deal with stressful situations the best way possible. Stretching is a great tool for this, we spend most of our day sitting and stressed out, if we take some time to stretch and breath through the exercises before going to bed it will help us reduce tensions from our body and muscles and this reduce stress, if we reduce stress before going to bed we also sleep better.
Stretching also helps us increase mobility and improve posture, even when we try to sit straight after long hours in the same position mobility is reduce this why some people recommend that you do some stretching exercises every hour even if you are in your office. If you don´t want to be stretching at the office for any reason you can do 10 to 15 minutes when you get home or right before going to bed.
Stretching also reduce pain in muscles and joints, pain in most cases is caused by bad posture and stress so when you relief the tension from your body by stretching you lower pain which gives you the freedom to move more and do more activities without pain.
For working out stretching also have amazing benefits, first avoiding injuries which is a most, stretching before hitting the weights and if you´re going to work out outside and it´s cold it help you prevent injuries by getting your body and muscles ready for the training session. This also helps to improve performance during your workout by increasing flexibility and mobility.
Another benefit that many people don´t consider is that it improves range of motion. When we are lifting weight, the more damage we do to the muscles the better and with full range of motion we are making more damage to muscle tissue which means more growth. I´ve seen people that don´t do full range of motion and the reason they don´t do it is because they can´t, their range of motion is limited but they don´t want to stretch they prefer 10 to 15 minutes of cardio as a warm up and cool down and even when cardio has a lot of benefits it won´t help you improve flexibility, mobility and range of motion.
What happens when we stretch is that we are lengthening our muscles and connective tissue and this reduces tension. You don´t need to spend 30 minutes stretching and you don´t need to work out to stretch, you can do it in the morning or every night before you go to bed, with 10 minutes you´ll start noticing the difference.
You can add one day to your workout program and focus only on stretching, you can take your rest day and see how your performance in and outside the gym improves. Training is a puzzle and every piece of the puzzle needs to be consider from resistance training, cardio training, recovery and stretching they all work together to help you get in shape, to get the type of physique you want and to help you perform as best as possible in any activity, from the gym, in your home, at work, vacations.
It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.