Stretching Blog

posted Sep 3, 2018, 4:29 PM by Difference Personal Training

Benefits Of Stretching and Muscle Release



We all know how much we should be stretching and how it makes us ‘feel’ better and how ‘loose’ our muscles become, but we don’t stretch as near as enough as we should be to get maximum benefit for our bodies! I will go through and talk about the benefits of stretching and myofascial release and how often and a few tips to maximise the benefits gained!


                            Benefits of Myofasical Release


         Increases blood flow. Research has shown that self-myofascial release can increase vascular function. By getting rid of knots and tension in the fascia that may be restricting fluid flow in the area, self-myofascial release techniques helps to keep your muscles and connective tissue well hydrated. That means that you’ll recover and heal faster.


         Improves muscular range of motion. Studies have also shown that self-myofascial release can increase range of motion without decreasing muscle force or activation. By breaking up the adhesions in the fascia, your muscles and connective tissue can move more freely and you avoid muscle restrictions when you exercise.


         Reduce muscle soreness. With better circulation to your muscles and connective tissues, you’ll experience less muscle soreness.


         Maintains normal functional muscular length. Self-myofascial release relieves tension in the myofascia network and helps your muscles return to their normal length, improving muscle function.


         Encourages movement of your lymph – a major component of your immune system that helps to fight infection int he body. However, the lymph system relies on movement pressure to move the fluid. Self-myofascial release can encourage the flow of lymph back to the heart.



                                     Benefits of Stretching


                     Increased flexibility and joint range of motion:      Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring. Flexibility tends to diminish as you get older, but you can regain and maintain it.

                     Improved circulation: Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you've had any muscle injuries.

                     Better posture: Frequent stretching can help keep your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture. Good posture can minimize discomfort and keep aches and pains at a minimum.

                     Stress relief: Stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.

                     Enhanced coordination: Maintaining the full range-of-motion through your joints keeps you in better balance. Coordination and balance will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls, especially as you get older.



                                      Tips for Stretching


                     Warm up first: Stretching muscles when they're cold increases your risk of pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favourite exercise at low intensity for five minutes.

                     Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds: It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds — and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscle or problem area. That can seem like a long time, so wear a watch or keep an eye on the clock to make sure you're holding your stretches long enough. For most of your muscle groups, if you hold the stretches for at least 30 seconds, you'll need to do each stretch only once.

                     Don't bounce: Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears (microtears) in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. The scar tissue tightens the muscle even further, making you even less flexible — and more prone to pain.

                     Focus on a pain-free stretch: If you feel pain as you stretch, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.

                     Relax and breathe freely: Don't hold your breath while you're stretching.

                     Stretch both sides: Make sure your joint range of motion is as equal as possible on each side of your body

                     Stretch before and after activity: Light stretching after your warm-up followed by a more thorough stretching regimen after your workout is your best bet