Stretching improves and maintains flexibility or range of motion, but more importantly stretching is important for developing maximum strength. Stretching isn’t just for yoga or power lifters. Stretching is great for improving your strength for the activities of daily living and your overall performance whether for athletic competition or life’s daily demands. Including stretching in your exercise routines will greatly improve your flexibility and will likely prevent an injury.
Flexibility is determined by the range of motion of the joints and range of motion is determined by the elasticity of the muscles and tendons that cross the joints. Moving a joint beyond the stretch length of the muscle or tendon will cause injury. Maintaining maximum muscle tear. Stretching is the best approach for improving and maintaining flexibility and preventing injury.
The length of a muscle when it is at rest and the amount of tension a muscle can produce at resting length is its length-tension relationship. The optimal muscle length-tension relationship and optimal range of motion of a joint is very important in your physical activities and more importantly in sports competition. Actin and Myosin filaments make up muscles. The pull of one across the other causing shortening or lengthening of the muscles can produce tension. Optimal tension is created when the optimal length at which the Myosin filaments has been reached. Tightness can result when that optimal muscle length is altered causing loss of strength. Stretching can keep your muscles at an optimum length allowing your workout to produce maximum strength results.
Maximum sports performance and workout success are measured by level of flexibility and joint range of motion which allow for maximum acceleration of the muscular force. Force is equal to mass times acceleration and acceleration and force are reduced when there is a lack of flexibility. Regular stretching is that essential edge to maintain flexibility and producing performance success.
Safe stretching is defined by mechanics, or the way the stretch is done and the timing of the stretching. There are a number of proper stretching techniques and it would be worth preventing an injury to schedule time with a trainer to learn how to stretch safely. A technique called ballistic stretching is a formula for injury and should be avoided. Time with a trainer is invaluable and will help you avoid a muscle tear which could keep you from your training for a week or more.
Studies have shown that the timing of your stretching exercises is very important. Stretching immediately before a workout, whether an aerobic or resistance workout, can negatively effect your performance. A tight or shortened muscle will be compromised just as a muscle that is stretching beyond its optimal resting length will be. Correct active stretching should be done afterward. Serious stretching should be done slowly and without assistance. Avoid those muscles and tendon tears by methodical stretching that does not include swinging arms and legs and bouncing.