Stretch To Build More Muscle
Stretching is an incredibly important factor in training that many people get wrong. I used to be among this group and I stretched on the very rare occasion – Whenever I did, I was doing it wrong!
Don’t make the same mistakes as me. My tight body was preventing me from reaching my full potential in the gym. The thing that made me not want to do it (and do it properly) was my ignorance towards how impactful the benefits could be.
Once I began doing it correctly, my gains went through the roof.
Here’s everything you need to know about stretching to build more muscle and strength.
Static or Dynamic Stretching?
We’ll keep things simple:
- Static Stretching – Stretching out muscles with no movement.
- Dynamic Stretching – Stretching the muscles via controlled movement.
Both have their place, however, it’s vital to do them at certain times.
Avoid static stretching before working out. There have been a number of studies carried out which show that people who stretch statically pre-workout are weaker during their sessions!
Save the static stretching until after your workout. If the muscles are weaker when training, it leaves you more vulnerable to injury.
But one of the biggest benefits of doing it post-workout is an improved range of motion.
Let’s say you’ve just trained legs and noticed that you’re having a hard time getting deep into your squats and leg press movements. Carrying out some basic hamstring, quad and hip/lower back stretches will help you improve for the next session.
(It can also aid in reducing muscle soreness).
If you can safely get deeper into your range of motion, you’ll be opened up to a new world of gains, plus, the pumps will be insane!
Dynamic stretching is great before working out because your muscles are not weakened by being held in a passive position for too long. In fact, it does the exact opposite.
Muscle activation is key for bodybuilders. Contracting and stretching optimally during each rep of every exercise is one of the most important aspects to making progress and dynamic stretching helps with this immensely.
It wakes your body up and gets you mentally in the zone. After doing it consistently, you’ll notice your strength shoot up compared to when you were not doing any stretching.
Taking the time out to stretch is just as important as the workout itself. If you follow the guide you’ve just read, you can decrease your chances of injury and maximise muscle gain. However, don’t expect any significant change after the first day of committing to it.
You’ll need to have patience.
Furthermore, depending on how tight your body is, it’ll also take some time to get used to the stretching movements. Don’t throw yourself in at the deep end by trying to reach your stretching limits because you could hurt yourself.
Go as far as you can within your OWN range of motion – Consistency is fundamental.
The thought of stretching alone can be dull, but if you’re serious about gaining muscle and strength, it needs to be done. Turn it into a habit to ensure it’s something you do every day and once you begin to see the astonishing results, you won’t want to stop!