Stretching is a method that has become more and more important in sports training. The etymology of it, which is English, comes from the verb to stretch. In the sense that we are speaking of it is meant to make your body as straight as possible in order for your muscles to become longer and tighter. More specifically, we are talking about stretching muscles, joints and tendons.

Stretching however, isn’t anything new even if the term claims to be. In sports and other activities that participants need to have great mobility in their joints and muscle strength and resilience — the concept has been around for a long time.

Think about the term warming up in fitness, it is essentially stretching. Sports like gymnastics, martial arts and ballet are great examples of this. There are even positions in hatha yoga that provide a source for different movements used in stretching. After awhile they underwent different transformations, being adapted as needed and even simplified.

One of the most important reasons to stretch is to gain mobility and flexibility in muscles and joints. When you do this before an activity it will improve the performance of an individual during an event. There are split opinions on when people should stretch in coordination with their program.

Some believe that people should stretch both before and after an exercise or event, even going as far as saying it should be the main part of a training program. However others believe that it should only be done when you are cooling down. This is because there are movements that need to be done in order to make a state of relaxation possible that can’t be achieved by stretching at the beginning of training. Everybody can agree on the importance of stretching as an act of warming up for an activity. This is for the best health of the person to avoid tight muscles and injuries.

Warmup up only takes around 5 minutes and is made up of aerobic exercises. Stretching beforehand prevents possible injuries by warming up muscles and protecting the integrity of the fibers that can rupture or burst easily.

Weight training and other types of resistance trying should have a stretching regimen in order to boost the effectiveness and strength during the movements and training.

What is important to keep in mind is the fact that the effectiveness is due to the fact that the muscles are stronger and can reach further distances, more range of motion and in the end saving energy to be used later on in the sports activity. Sports like rowing, sprinting and other intense sports are what we are talking about here.

While you can incorporate a training day of only stretching it isn’t the best decision. Muscles can adapt quickly and will relax when you need to contract and that can cause a unbalanced body.

A negative effect that can happen from stretching too much or putting too much pressure on the muscles when stretching the limits of the joint can be compromised and cause more accidents like sprains, tight ligaments or even dislocations. The elasticity can be impacted negatively the the mobility of a joint is ignored.

To wrap things up, in order for the person to truly derive the health benefits of stretching, they should incorporate other exercises to build a well-rounded regimen.

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