The Stretch!

So there I was, reading through the latest articles on the website and I came across one that seamed intriguing. It was about the last week before a show, I wondered what new insights I could get from it.

So there I was, reading through the latest articles on the website and I came across one that seamed intriguing. It was about the last week before a show, I wondered what new insights I could get from it. So I opened it up and checked it out.

It was pretty interesting as they all usually are. Towards the bottom of Delbert Hickman's article (fellow writer, and wow what a back he has. I was impressed!!!) He talked about stretching for separation and what importance it plays. So I got to thinking,

"I wonder if people really understand the importance of stretching?"

I know I do, I stretch every morning for about 7-10 minutes, before I work out and for at least 15 minutes after I workout, and usually before I go to bed for another 7-10 minutes. I am a strong believer and supporter of stretching and have been for the past 4 years. I work on it all the time and because of it I have become very flexible in all areas, especially my legs.

So, one day I was squatting pretty heavy and when I racked it up this person that was watching said my hamstrings looked like they were huge and cut up. I got to thinking right then,

"I don't really work my hamstrings that much,
How come they look so good then?"

It never really occurred to me that this was because I stretch them out so much until two weeks later when I was stretching and had the splits going (like a gymnast) and someone else said,

"Damn you are flexible,
you don't look like you could be half that!"

Then it hit me, stretching is the key. Since then I started stretching everything the same amount as my hamstrings, and worlds of improvement came my way.


Why Is Stretching So Important

1. Preventing Injury:

    Stretching aids greatly in preventing injuries to the muscle as it aids in the warm up process by helping deliver blood into the muscle. Getting your muscles loosened up and ready for the iron attack is crucial for a workout.

RELATED ARTICLE
How Important Is Warming Up? How Important Is Warming Up?
Much of the time you will see people stretching out their legs before a run, or stretching out any body part before they train it. It's also very popular for people to begin warm-up sets before they really get into the workout.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

2. Deliver Blood:

    This goes with the blood part in number one. I spent a lot of time stretching the muscle I just trained after a workout. This helps deliver the nutrient rich blood into the fatigued muscle so it can recover and start growing as soon as possible.

3. Remove Lactic Acid:

    Speaking of recovery, stretching helps the muscle recover (for the whole blood flow reason) and because it helps carry away lactic acid.

    What Is Lactic Acid?
    A syrupy, water-soluble liquid existing in three isomeric forms: one in muscle tissue and blood as a result of anaerobic glucose metabolism, a second in sour milk and wines, and a third used in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.

4. Makes You Big:

    Makes you bigger and more powerful. Stretching your muscle lengthens it, and a lengthened muscle is a bigger muscle. Something I read that Jay Cutler wrote one time was that by stretching you have increased your range of motion, and if you can push the same amount of weight over a bigger distance in the same amount of time you have increased your power!!! Thanks Jay.

    Jay Cutler
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Jay Cutler, At The 2006 Boise Fit Expo.

4. Makes You Look Cut:

    Stretching helps out a lot with muscle separation, which gives you appearance of being cut up like a champ.

My Guidelines For Stretching:

  1. Move into the stretch slowly, and move out of it slowly.

  2. Try to hold it for at least 20 seconds at a time. I do everything twice, whether it is two times in a row or two rotations.

  3. Stretch hard, it should hurt just a little bit, but not too much.

  4. Stretch often. To get the desired results, stretch often.

    To Check Out The #1 Stretching Guide Click Here.

Parting words:
Be a freak, be a champion