Today’s article will surely be enjoyable for all fitness enthusiasts. Every day there is something new in the fitness world: new types of exercises, new workout machines, etc. But today, we will not talk about any advanced activities. Instead, we will focus on the basics, specifically on stretching. You probably all heard that you are supposed to stretch before or after working out. And that it is perfect for you and your body. It’s also suitable for other activities such as surfing, swimming, jogging, etc.
But did you know that there are some downsides to stretching as well? That will be the focus of today’s article. We will do a deep dive into the advantages and disadvantages of stretching. We will explain everything, and you will ultimately be able to decide for yourself.
The main advantages and disadvantages of stretching
We will share with your our list of what we think are the main advantages and disadvantages of stretching. These are the things everyone should know, whether you are an athlete or exercise regularly. Many people are into fitness today but don’t learn the basics. They invest in home gyms and expensive equipment but don’t have elementary knowledge about working out. That’s not to say home gyms are a terrible idea. They are great. And if you want to have one in your home but are afraid you won’t be able to fit it in, don’t worry. There is a way around that. For example, renting a storage unit in Florida when building a home gym is a great way to help you get more space. But a home gym won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to properly stretch before working out, so let’s get back to our lists and help you with that:
- Improves flexibility
- Increases blood flow
- Improves posture
- Overstretching injuries
- Weakens you
The first advantage of stretching is that it increases flexibility. The exact definition of flexibility is the ability of the joints to make various unrestricted movements without pain. That is extremely important and has a significant effect on the success of your workout. If you don’t stretch before working out, your body will be tight, and it will be more challenging to do the exercises. Stretching is essential for those who have tight hamstrings and hip issues. Usually, around 15 to 20 min of stretching before or after a workout is enough, but everybody is different. Some people need more or less, depending on their age, health, and the difficulty of the following training. Some of the best flexibility stretches are:
- Standing quad stretch
- Butterfly stretch
- Standing hip flexor stretch
- Glute bridge
Increases blood flow
This next benefit is significant for those who suffer from bad circulation. Daily stretching can be very successful in increasing your blood flow. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional athlete or not. That is a vital part of your health. And with increased blood flow, your recovery time gets shorter, and your muscles won’t be as sore after a workout. There are specific types of stretches that are the best for improving circulation. And most of them come from yoga, so they work best if you breathe when you are doing them as well. These stretches include downward dog, legs up the wall pose, chair pose, triangle pose, and lunges.
Another great benefit of stretching is the improvement of body posture. If you are one of those people that are always hunched down or have chronic back pain, that might mean you don’t stretch enough. If you spend a lot of time hunched down, you, without even noticing, harm your muscles. You gradually make them weaker. But by stretching regularly, you put your muscles to work. It may take a while, but they will get stronger again. And strong worked-out muscles mean better posture. They also mean less back pain because stretching removes the tension from your back. Of course, you can’t expect the change to come overnight, but with regular stretching and patience, the results will be there.
Although stretching can be very beneficial, there is another side. Just as excessive exercise can lead to injury, the same can happen with stretching. Many people don’t know how much stretching is enough for them. As we have already said, it depends on age, health, and fitness level. That’s why it often happens that people overstretch. The point of stretching is to make you more flexible and make it easier for you to exercise later. And while you stretch, nothing should hurt. You can easily tear or sprain a muscle if you pull for too long. These injuries can be minor but can also cause more severe problems. That is why it is necessary to know how much stretching your body needs and stop trying when you feel intense pain.
There are some cases in which stretching can be very detrimental. For example, if you do not stretch PROPERLY before weightlifting, it can have a terrible effect on your performance, and you might injure yourself. You shouldn’t stretch too much if you are going to lift weights after. And lately, more and more people do weightlifting. It has become a new trend. And according to experts at muvnow.com, most of the people they helped relocate last year had weights and other weightlifting equipment that they needed to relocate to their new homes.
But weightlifting is a very intense strength exercise; you shouldn’t wear yourself out beforehand. Stretching too much and too intensely can weaken you and make it much harder for you to weightlift later. Studies show that after stretching too much, weightlifting performance gets worse. You need to save your strength and do short quick stretches, so you don’t get too tired.
These were some advantages and disadvantages of stretching. As you can see, stretching has many good sides and a couple of bad ones. But what is essential is that there are ways to avoid the downsides of stretching. You have to research and consult with fitness professionals so they teach you how to do the stretches correctly and for how long.
As we said, everybody is different, and there is not one general rule in the fitness world. We listed some of the most important advantages and disadvantages. But through trial and error, you will be able to see for yourself what works and what doesn’t. In the end, you will achieve your perfect workout/stretching routine.