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We all know what stretching is, and we’ve always been told that it’s incredibly beneficial for us.
Ever since elementary school, we’ve been told that we should stretch regularly to stay healthy, improve our recovery, and prevent injuries.
But, when the schedule is tight, it can be tempting to skip the stretching routine and head for the shower right after training.
To that end, we’ve put together a list of four solid reasons why you shouldn’t skip stretching.
Ready? Let’s take a look.
1. It Improves Your Flexibility and Range of Motion
The most obvious benefit of stretching is that it improves our overall flexibility and allows us to perform the various exercises through a longer range of motion.
Being more flexible allows you to move around freely, and doing most exercises with a full range of motion helps you train your muscles better and progress quicker.
2. It May Speed Up Recovery And Prevent DOMS
In some studies, lengthening muscles has been shown to improve the blood flow to these tissues. This itself could indicate better recovery and prevention of delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Having more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood enter our muscles should intuitively allow the body to repair muscle damage and metabolic stress quicker. This has also been shown in the literature:
In some studies, folks who stretch their muscles after training experience lesser DOMS symptoms and seem to recover faster than people who don’t.
3. It Can Improve Your Posture
Poor posture is often linked to tight and weak muscles in our posterior chain. The most common causes for that are our neck, shoulders, and lower and upper back muscles.
By stretching these muscles regularly, we can improve our overall alignment and posture.
4. It’s A Fantastic Way to Wind Down After A Hard Workout
If you tend to go through demanding workouts, then incorporating some basic stretching at the end of your sessions is a fantastic idea.
For one, stretching is profoundly relaxing, and it’s a great way to wind down after a strenuous workout. Second, stretching our muscles after exercise lengthens them and helps prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Plus, it doesn’t have to be anything grandiose. As little as five minutes of mindful practice is enough to help you leave each workout in a calm and refreshed state. And, while it may not seem like much, stretching our muscles for a couple of minutes adds up and can lead to significant improvements in your overall functionality and flexibility.