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Flexibility Stretches | Kick Start Your Gains

Tips for Stretching


Flexibility Stretches

Flexibility Stretches

Its sometimes incredible to watch some of the stretches people in the gym do before and after their workouts. I often wonder where they learned to stretch like that, but the truth of the matter is that most people have never learned the correct way to stretch.

Here are some tips that will improve your stretching form and the increase the benefits you get from doing flexibility stretches properly:

Contracting Your Muscles Can Help You to Stretch Further


When your muscles are contracted slightly during a stretch, a stronger container for that muscle is created, allowing you to stretch further and more safely. This contraction should only be slight, but will allow you to perform deeper flexibility stretches.

Always Keep a ‘Micro-Bend’ in the Knees


This slight bend encourages muscular engagement in the legs and also helps prevent injury. Adjusting the amount of bend in the knee is an effective way of increasing or decreasing the amount of intensity of many flexibility stretches.

Waken the Toes


You should always keep your feet and toes activated, as this encourages proper alignment in the body, which helps to prevent injury. It will also help to provide you with the sensation of building a strong container for your stretch.

Keep Your Feet Hip Width Apart


When stretching down to your toes or stretching on a mat, your feet should be positioned hip width apart.

Don’t Use Stretch Machines


These machines are almost worthless for flexibility stretches. A concept used in Yoga describes Organic and Muscular energy. Muscular energy is about using slight contractions in your muscles to create a strong container in the body. Stretch machines only make use of Organic energy, which put simply, means stretching flaccid muscles. The strong container created by Muscular energy is an important component of flexibility stretches, as it helps to prevent injury and build strength.

Example Routine of Flexibility Stretches


A 5 minute example routine that could be done prior to starting a workout would look something like this:

  • Standing Straight Leg Fold
  • The Plank
  • Runners Lunge
  • Seated Forward Fold
  • Downward Dog.

This short routine will stretch out the lats, legs, lower back and will warm up the lower back.

Each of the flexibility stretches in this routine should be held for slightly longer than usual to allow the body the opportunity to really stretch out. Maximum results for each stretch should be achieved at around the 1 – 2 minute point.

Conclusion


Flexibility stretches are an important part of any bodybuilding routine. Not only to prevent you having the posture of a carpet salesman, but also to prevent injury and allow you to get the most from your muscles.

Follow the advice in this article and you’ll soon notice the advantages of  allowing yourself a few minutes before and after your workouts for some flexibility streches.


Photo Credit: Marco Crupi

1 comment

  1. Julianna Baik

    I have the same problem.

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