Stretching - How to Stretch and Gain The Flexibility You Had in Your Youth
As a martial artist as well as a fitness consultant, I know the benefits of stretching and I can see what poor stretching habits can do to someone who doesn't take the time to properly help their muscles recover and repair from a tough workout. The thing is, there are so many conflicting things out there about what is good about stretching and how to do it. While I don't have the space in this article to teach you how to properly stretch, I do want to let you know why it's so important to keep those muscles stretched and ready to go.
Warm up and cool down your muscles.
If your muscles are too stiff when you begin vigorous exercise or weight training, you can easily injure them because they are not as agile as they should be for this type of exercise. That's why everyone should do a slow, steady warm-up whether it's jogging, walking or light aerobics before beginning straight out stretching or any type of vigorous activity.
Likewise, it's also so important to stretch after exercise as well. Muscles are pliable when they are fatigued and this is the best time to stretch them.
Prevent soreness in your muscles.
Proper stretching can also prevent your muscles from getting too sore. If you fail to stretch and your muscles become sore, two things will happen. First of all, you'll be miserable for at least a day of not being able to move like you want to. Second of all, each time you allow your muscles to get sore, you are putting a dent in your training progress. If you cannot get your muscles to move the way you want them to, you're not going to be able to continue your training at the rate you want to go.
Keep your muscles flexible.
Increased flexibility is one of the great benefits of training a martial art - and of stretching. If you can keep your muscles flexible, you'll be able to move with greater quickness and agility than if you let your flexibility naturally decline with age. Additionally, the more freedom of movement you have, the less likely you'll suffer an injury - either while exercising or during normal everyday activities.
You may be leery of stretching because you have heard of people injuring themselves while stretching. This is possible, but only if you haven't had the proper training in stretching exercises. The benefits of stretching, when done correctly, are enough to get the training. Your muscles will thank you for it.
Related Tags: stretching, stretch, flexibility, get flexible
For more information on this article or others go to Stretches and Stretching
Kip Franks Jr. runs a fitness consulting business and writes for online, as well as offline, fitness sources. He is finishing his first book on stretching and flexibility. You can find more information at his web site here.All About Stretching and FlexibilityYour Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
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