Stretching is an integral part of every training. So when do you choose to stretch when you’re doing weight workout. In this article we provide you with several stretching tips for best muscle growth and recovery.
One of the most frequently asked question in weight training is should you stretch before you begin exercising, during the training, or after you have finished with your workout.
The question is well placed, for when you choose to stretch the wrong muscle at wrong time, you can greatly damage your muscle building process. Not only that, but this may result in a serious injury. The prevailing opinion is that static stretching should be performed before you start with weight training. However, this could be a fatal mistake.
First of all. When you stretch a cold muscle you risk causing injuries which can range from minor strains to severe tears. Even if you avoid injury, research suggests that you greatly reduce your muscle strength during the lifts when you stretch it just before training. To put it more bluntly, stretching your muscles before practice will result in diminished capability to lift heavy loads. The same applies for stretching your muscles during the training. Although the increased blood flow feels good, this can be accomplished better with light massage of the targeted muscles between the sets.
On the other hand, if the stretching is executed correctly during the training, it can help you in increasing the strength and reducing the recovery time between sets. This can be accomplished by stretching the antagonistic muscle to one you are training during the workout. Stretch the hamstrings, for examples, after you’ve finished the leg press, or the lats after bench press.
Although stretching the antagonistic muscles can be helpful during the training, the best results are achieved with our next stretch.
THE BEST STRETCHING FOR BODYBUILDERS
When it comes to weight training, the best approach is to use intense stretch of the targeted muscle right after you’ve completed the exercise. When we say intense stretching it implies that the muscle should hurt while doing it. However, don’t push it too far, because it can result in injury. Each intense stretch should last 30 seconds to one minute. After that, slowly release the muscle.
The intense stretch can be performed by holding the bottom position of chest flye with some weight in your hands. Or you can hang from a chinning bar with a close grip, and ask your partner to pull down your waist. Or hold the bottom most position of a sissy squat for a while.
THE BENEFIT OF INTENSE STRETCH
According to the research the intense stretch of the trained muscle increases the hypertrophy rate. This is a result of increasing the satellite cells and stimulating the production of growth factors within the muscle tissue. It turns out that intense stretching is a fantastic activator of anabolic reactions. And although it is excruciating, it does work.
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Whatever you do, avoid stretching a cold muscle. Also avoid stretching the muscle in the middle of your training. On the other hand, stretching the antagonistic muscle during the workout can be beneficial. The best is to wait your training session to come to an end, and use 30 to 60 seconds intense stretch of the trained body part.