Everyone associates stretching with flexibility — and for good reason! Regular stretching can significantly reduce injury risk, enhance flexibility, and improve range of motion in your muscles. But many people may not know that stretching is highly conducive to building and supporting overall muscle strength. By increasing the flow of healing oxygen to the muscles, stretching can promote growth and prevent injury. Even if you already lift weights, there are several reasons why stretching before and after workouts can improve your muscle strength and the quality of your workouts.
Lengthen Muscle Tissue
One of the main effects of stretching is the lengthening of your muscle tissue. This is great by itself, but increased flexibility can also yield effective results in the weight room. Stretching increases your muscles’ extension ability, which allows you to do your usual weight exercises with a broader range of motion. As such, you can increase your maximum weight and make your regular strength training exercises far more effective.
Improve Blood Flow
When you get a hard workout in, your muscles are left covered in tiny tears by the end. It is the healing from this damage that creates muscle buildup. By stretching after your workout, you can drastically improve circulation to your muscles. This influx of fresh blood provides your muscles oxygen and other vital nutrients, promoting faster and better healing. Over time, this will lead to bigger and stronger muscles that are far less vulnerable to injury.
Reduce Lactic Acid Buildup
Another unavoidable side effect of working out is the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. Lactic acid is produced by all muscles during an intense workout and is the most common cause of that next-day soreness that every weightlifter has experienced. Post-workout discomfort can be frustrating and keep you out of the gym, but by stretching immediately after a workout, you can relieve tension and increase the amount of oxygen in your muscles. This process decreases lactic acid buildup and can help reduce the effects of soreness, allowing you to get off the couch and get back in the gym sooner.
Nothing is worse than a muscle or ligament injury sustained during a workout. Maintaining a regular exercise regimen is crucial for building strength. Your overall strength can decrease if you’re unable to work out for an extended time due to an injury. By stretching regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of a severe injury and ensure your continued ability to workout and build muscle.
Contact Bria Method today to learn more about HIIT training and fitness classes in the Bucks County area!