More and more people are worried about their health and regularly practice some sports. When the weather is good, the parks are full of people running or cycling. However, not everyone is aware of the importance of stretching, especially after training.
Even at a competitive level, while knowing the advantages of stretching muscles, many athletes prefer to skip these 10 minutes of further training that allows them to avoid and prevent unpleasant injuries.
But it is not enough to just ” stretch”: we must also do it well. These exercises have their own rules and it is important to know when and how to stretch the muscles.
One of the most important principles is that stretching exercises should never cause pain but point out tension and relief. Otherwise, the effect, far from being beneficial, could even be harmful to the muscles. In this article, we will help you understand how to do stretching in the right way and without pain.
The importance of stretching
To complete the training correctly, it is essential to spend some time stretching exercises. Five or ten minutes, according to some experts, are sufficient to achieve the main goal of stretching: preventing injuries and avoiding hardening of the muscles.
After intense physical activity, such as running, the muscles will recover better and faster. Furthermore, any possible pain due to stress will be avoided.
Furthermore, stretching also contributes to giving the muscles a more stylized appearance, as long as it is performed evenly, exerting adequate and healthy tension on the muscle.
On the other hand, this type of muscular work offers greater flexibility. This reduces the likelihood of injury, as a muscle tends to break when it is overly rigid or contracted. Conversely, when a muscle is dissolved the possible injuries are minimized.
When do you have to stretch?
There is a lot of controversy over whether to stretch before starting the training routine. Some say that the muscles could be affected by the lengthening prior to physical activity, with a possible increase in the risk of muscle accidents.
In reality, for the type of work that is done on the muscles, as a general rule one should never stretch a muscle to cold. So the ideal is to do dynamic, active stretching combined with joint mobility work. After warming up the muscles very well, only at that moment will stretching produce the desired benefits.
As for stretching after exercise, it is now considered a necessary and useful practice. Even in this case, however, the athlete will have to do lengthening in a conscientious manner and following a well-defined circuit, immediately stopping in case of pain.
For example, it is essential to carry out stretching operations immediately after the end of training or physical activity. That is when the muscles are still warm. In this way, you will help them recover their elasticity. As you may already know, after a session of intense physical activity, micro-breaks occur in the muscles.
When you do your stretching routine, this unloading on the fibers will allow you to regenerate and recover muscles, tendons, and joints. In short, these exercises are really essential.
Do stretching without pain
Stretching exercises should involve all muscle groups and not just the legs, as is often believed. Furthermore, it is very important to gradually stretch out slowly to avoid injury. For this, it is necessary to do it with a lot of concentration and caution.
During stretching, you should notice a feeling of relief, caused by tension, but that should never be forced. There must be no sensation of pain! Otherwise, it means you are performing poorly and this could cause injuries. Furthermore, for it to be effective, the lengthening should last at least 25 or 30 seconds per muscle.
It is advisable that the stretching exercises be static: the position must be maintained and “bounces” or oscillating movements must not be performed. To help stretch muscles, it is important to breathe deeply. You must stretch the muscle until you feel a certain pressure and maintain this position for 25-30 seconds.
Regardless of the type of sport and physical activity, proper stretching will help you reduce muscle tension and relax the whole body. The range of movements and flexibility will increase little by little, if you do stretching in a progressive way and always never force.