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The Benefits of Stretching – Part 2
When working out or engaging in sports you stretch your muscles and ligaments beyond the normal daily limits. Extreme muscle stretching may cause a lot of damage to the muscle and to the ligament. But, controlled warm up and muscle stretching add flexibility needed for the extended movements you make while practicing sports. And also, the flexibility you get from stretching will improve your climbing performance.
There are a lot of advantages of muscle stretching. For example, muscle stretching before sports improves circulation and blood flow which gives muscles the flexibility to move freely.
Practiced during sports, muscle stretching improves coordination, balance, accuracy and makes your muscles less prone to injury.
After sports, muscle stretching improves recovery time.
There are two types of muscle stretching which provide best result, known as “Static” and “Dynamic” muscle stretching.
The Static Muscle Training is the way to increase flexibility.
The Dynamic Muscle Training.
Before you start muscle stretching routines, you must always warm up. Do low intensity bouldering for about five minutes using big holds and big foot hold. Alternatively, you can do jog; do a few sit-ups and pushups. Prepare muscles for stretching by increasing your blood flow. The purpose of the warm up is to increase your heart rate for about five minutes. At this point, you are ready for stretching your muscles. If you skip warm up or try to stretch to agressively, a nerve reflex, called the “stretch reflex” takes place. It is an automatic response caused when nerve fibres are stretched. It causes your muscles to contract against the direction of muscles stretch. This could lead to pain which reduces athletic performance. You must stay relaxed while you stretch, work up to flexibility gradually and stay in control of your muscles to prevent stretch reflex.
Here are some examples of muscle stretching routines:
Slow Torso Twist.
Backbent is performed by putting your palms on the floor and arch your back both directions. This will add flexibility for your lower back muscles.
Modifier Hurdler’s Stretch.
Toe Touches. Keep your knees straight and your back bent. Place your feet a meter apart. Touch your right and left toes with both fingertips in turn. Continue to extend, using dynamic stretching.
How can you prevent stretching injuries?
Typical strength exercises will either overstress the overly tensed muscles or will bypass the weak ones by recruiting others to do their job. To fix such problems you need the help of an applied kinesiology specialist who, among other modes of treatment, may prescribe special exercises for normalizing the tension of muscles.
Another way of preventing injuries is learning the efficient form of movements. Eliminate those moments in your techniques in which you use the sudden tension of already stretched muscles to counter the fast movement of a relatively big mass. Such tensions may lead to tears in the muscles of a supporting leg in kicking, for example. A good technique feels effortless.
Practice the correct technique and develop a habit of throwing your techniques only when the distance is right to keep yourself from straining your muscles. There are many other causes of injuries ranging from the wrong exercises to such factors as an improper exercise surface (floor too stiff, mat too soft), temperature, humidity, ventilation, and gym lighting (big contrasts in illumination and colors can cause difficulties in estimating space relationships).
When stretching, you must warm up your muscles for at least five minutes, fell your muscle’s natural limit, start stretching slowly, breathe deeply to your full lung capacity, and concentrate on staying relaxed. But avoid stretching up to the point of pain, do not stretch a muscle beyond its natural range, do not bounce when you perform muscle stretching, and do not extend to the point of muscle stretch reflex.
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