The Importance Of Stretching After Training

Stretching helps reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and other factors that are important for muscle recovery. And it should never be overlooked.
The importance of stretching after training

Stretching after training is one of those principles that sportspeople learn right away. But how many really know why this training phase is so important?

Below, we see the physiological reasons that make it so important to take a few minutes to stretch after exercise. As we will see, this is not an optional activity, but an essential way to preserve the good condition of the muscles.

Do you stretch before training?

Before we talk about stretching after exercise, let’s talk about stretching first. In this case, stretching is fine if we are going to perform a physical exercise that stretches the muscle. If we practice, for example, rhythmic gymnastics, it is necessary to stretch before starting.

But if we do a sport that requires strength, or sprint, it will be counterproductive. For other sports, it may have no significant effect, as a study by European University professionals indicates.

Warming up is important because it prepares the body for what it will need to do. If we stretch, we seek greater flexibility. On the contrary, if in the warm-up we work on the muscle contractions, we prepare the muscles to contract but greater strength.

Stretching before playing sports is therefore not always appropriate. Some movements can be added to awaken and relax the body, but if we want strong muscle contractions, it doesn’t have to be the most important part of the warm-up.

Woman does leg stretching in the park.

Stretch after exercise

Stretching your muscles after training is always good, especially for stretching them. When we play sports, we contract our muscles repeatedly. When we finish the exercise, the muscles remain in tension waiting to be contracted again strongly. By stretching, we are telling the muscles that we are done  and that they can relax.

By relaxing, the muscles enter the recovery phase. The muscle fibers begin to recover the balance of substances that allow the contraction cycle.

In this way, contractures can be prevented. If you don’t stretch and the muscle stays in tension, it is very likely to contract. If, on the other hand, we send the signal that we can relax, the chances are less, even if there are other factors that influence.

In addition, stretching after training your muscles is also good for flexibility. According to the academic literature, stretching the muscle consistently after exercise improves the flexibility of these muscle groups. It is important to remember that this ability is necessary for the body to function properly, especially as we age.

Blood and lactic acid

Another positive effect of stretching is that it improves blood circulation and muscle oxygenation. When muscle fibers are contracted, they don’t get the right blood supply. Blood is important because, among other things, it carries substances that work on muscle recovery.

Such substances act must act quickly. If the blood does not arrive properly, the muscle does not even get the right supply of oxygen. When we stretch, the muscles relax and everything returns to normal.

Finally, with stretching we also eliminate lactic acid. Muscles create this substance when we exercise, but it causes muscle pain and fatigue. By stretching, we help the body eliminate this substance and promote rapid recovery.

Stretching helps to have defined muscles.

Take the time to stretch your muscles properly

As a study published in the journal Physiotherapy states , there are many ways to stretch muscles. You just have to find the one that best suits your needs.

Taking the foot back and bringing it towards the buttock does not stretch the quadriceps well. Also try to perform an anteversion of the pelvis and apply force as if to bring the knee to the ground. You will notice that the intensity of the stretch is greater.

With stretches, you must try to separate the origin and the insertion of the muscle, and even better if in an active way. For example, in the previous exercise, grab the foot with your hand, but also push the heel towards the buttock.

As we have seen, the main function of stretching after exercise is to speed up muscle recovery. During training, we cause a certain level of damage to the muscle and we need to try to get it to recover as soon as possible.

Finally, it also helps to increase flexibility and well-being once back home. So, overcome laziness, dedicate a part of your training and learn how to stretch correctly, you will not regret it!

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