We take a look at the Importance of Stretching for Strength Training
A few questions are raised around the best time to stretch out those muscles when training, should it be performed before, during or after?
I’ve always believed that it was right to stretch muscles before any training exercise to help warm and stretch them out, but stretching the wrong muscles at the wrong time may cause muscle pulls and strains.
Research has shown that stretching out a muscle before training it can reduce your strength during your lifts. Therefore you may not be able to lift the potential amount of weight that you could have without stretching beforehand. But if performed correctly you could actually increase strength and improve recovery between sets by stretching.
After a bit of research, it has shown that whilst training it is beneficial to stretch the antagonistic muscle to the one you are training. For example, stretch your
hamstrings after some leg presses, or the lats after each set of bench presses.
Some examples of some intense but very beneficial stretching exercises would be to hang from a chinning bar with a close grip and have your partner pull down on your waist, or perhaps sitting in the deepest position of a squat. Yes this goes beyond any light arm stretching but the benefits are great from stretching this way, as this can increase growth factors which include hepatocyte growth factor, Myogenin and IGF-1 which are located within muscle tissue.
So, the best way to stretch is not to perform a stretch on a cold muscle before training, and don’t stretch the muscle that you are in the middle of training. However, do stretch the antagonistic muscle to the one you are training during your workout, and once the session for the body part is complete, finish it off with two or three intense 30-60 second deep stretches.
Always remember that your nutrition straight after training is just as important to stretching for the recovery process, Bodybuilding Warehouse Recovery is a great supplement to your post training fuel as it will help you to recover faster.
Bodybuilding Warehouse also provide a recovery stack which is great at providing all the nutrients you’ll need to maximise your recovery, which teamed with your knowledge of correct stretching will help reduce injuries and help you to recover faster!
Train hard...train smart...train to grow!....Anita x
On behalf of Bodybuilding Warehouse