Before the start of fitness activities, everyone needs to perform stretching exercises to help lengthen soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments, reduce soreness, and minimize injuries to body muscles and joints in the gym. However, many bodybuilders often confuse the stretching process when they are doing tight fitness activities.
They do not know that there are two types of stretching: dynamic stretching and static stretching, and these stretching activities can benefit you in different roles and ways. Based on the needs of fitness activities, bodybuilders should use static stretching to help the body cool down when relaxing.
What is static stretching
Static stretching is mainly performed after the end of the exercise. It is an even slow stretching activity that keeps a single exercise for a while and reduces the nerve activity of the muscles, thereby relaxing the muscles. Static stretching is part of the cooling process.
Slow stretching activities cool the body that warms up after exercise, reducing the excessively fast heart rate and preventing injuries. During static stretching, multiple joints and muscles remain in a static position, so that the muscles and connective tissue are at the maximum stretch, which can increase the resistance of the muscles to stretching.
Benefits of static stretching
Static stretching is completely free and effective to help the body recover from exercise. No matter what kind of fitness activities you focus on, effective static stretching after exercise can benefit you.
1. Improve range of motion
Stretching statically after a workout can help warm muscles increase muscle strength. Increasing the resting time of a single action has the effect of reducing the resistance to stretching. At the same time, increasing the strength of stretching can better improve the position of joint movement, thereby increasing the range of motion. Studies show that static stretching increases the flexibility of the body and the length of tissues (muscle and connective tissue), making exercise more effective.
2. Reduce potential harm
When stretching, stretching joints and muscle fibers to the limit and staying still will actually increase the tolerance of muscles and joints, which can help tissue recovery after exercise to reduce potential injury during exercise. After exercise or after increasing the intensity of exercise, the muscles will become tense or tired, and it is easy to produce delayed muscle soreness, and these pains will last for 1-3 days, and proper static stretching after exercise can relax the muscles and joints, make muscle tissues and joints hydrated, reduce inflammation, help tissues recover, and relieve delayed pain.
3. Increase blood circulation
Static stretching increases the blood circulation in the target area by stretching individual joints and muscles, thereby increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients in the blood in the area, helping to remove excess metabolites and toxins and alleviating muscle fatigue. Good blood circulation can bring oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to muscles and joints, while taking away deoxygenated blood, helping muscle soreness and fatigue.
4. Stretching stress
Static stretching is an activity that helps the body cool down after exercise. When stretching, very few activities are needed to focus on regulating breathing, relax the body and brain, and help stretch mental stress and anxiety. At the same time, the high pressure caused by exercise will make the muscles and ligaments feel tight. The combination of stretching and breathing exercises can reduce the tension of muscles and ligaments and help stretch the muscles to relax them.
5. Improve body balance
Poorly flexible muscle groups can cause imbalance and bad posture of a certain muscle in the body. Tight muscles will pull the joints to cause changes in the body's lines, such as humpback, crooked spine, etc. Studies have shown that people with bone imbalances are more likely to be injured. Static stretching can stretch muscles in target areas of the body, helping to relieve muscles that are overused or lacking in motion, so that muscles can benefit from static stretching, thereby improving the body's balance.
Static stretching exercise
Static stretching requires maximizing the range of motion of the muscles and keeping them motionless for 30-50 seconds to help the body cool down. Exercise tightens and shortens muscles, while static stretching helps restore muscles and prolong muscle elasticity.
1. While standing or sitting, lift your right arm high, bypass it directly above your head and bend your elbows. Place your fingers lightly on your ears and the other arm on the side of your body.
2. Slowly stretch your head to your right shoulder, knowing that you feel the left side of your neck stretching, hold it for 30 seconds, and then slowly make your head straight. Finally repeat the other side, repeating 2-3 groups as needed.
2. Cross-body shoulder stretch
1. While standing, raise your right arm forward, as high as your shoulders.
2. The left-arm grabs the extended right arm and moves it closer to the chest while keeping the right arm straight.
3. Continue to stretch your right arm until you feel the arm is pulled, hold it for 30 seconds, then lower your arm.
4. Repeat with the other arm, 2-3 groups.
3. Triceps Stretch
1. Lift both arms up and over your head, move your arms slightly behind your head, and bend your arms.
2. Pull your right elbow with your left hand until you feel that your triceps are straight, and then hold it for 30 seconds as well.
3. Repeat the exercise with the other hand to complete a set of exercises, repeating 2-3 sets of exercises.
1. Stand upright with your feet apart and shoulder-width apart.
2. After raising your right arm to the height of your shoulders, flip your arms to keep your palms up.
3. Slowly extend the right arm to the left of the head, and keep the same side to slowly bend the body, knowing that you feel the right waist is pulled, keep moving for 30 seconds.
4. Then return to the original position and repeat the action with the other arm. 5.
5. Complete 2-3 sets of exercises.
5. Hip flexor stretching
1. Make a standard front lunge posture, bend your arms and place your hands on both sides of your waist.
2. Bend your knees slowly forward, with your knees extending forward not toe over your toes for 30 seconds.
3. Repeat on the left. Complete 3-4 sets of exercises.
6. Foot Ligament Stretch
1. Sit on the floor with your right leg slightly straight forward, your left leg bent over your knees, and your left foot on your right thigh area.
2. Straighten your right hand and touch or grab your right toe. Try to stretch your toe of your right foot backward. You will feel the ligament of your right leg stretched.
3. Keep moving for 30 seconds, then repeat the movement of the left leg. If you can't hold your toes, you can try to hold your toes with both hands straight, but you should try to hold your toes every time you stretch, knowing that you can hold your toes firmly.
Static stretching is a procedure to cool the body, and unlike the warm-up procedure for dynamic stretching, static stretching should be done after exercise, not before exercise. Recent research has found that static stretching before exercise does not help warm up the body, but instead inhibits muscle performance and may even cause injury.