A very important element to a good training routine that is often forgotten about is stretching and flexibility work. Stretching is important for a wide variety of reasons but yet sadly, very few people actually make the time in their program schedule to allow for this.
Why aren’t athletes stretching as much as they should?
Very often the biggest reason for a lack of stretching work is because they just don’t have time. They’re so caught up in performing their cardio and resistance training, along with actual training for their chosen sport or activity that they just don’t think to factor in a good stretching routine.
But, if you want to make the most of your training, stretching must be in place.
Let’s have a look at the top three reasons why stretching is a must for a good level of progress.
Stretching Reduces Injury Risk
The very first reason why stretching is so important is because it’s going to decrease your risk of developing an injury. When your muscles are very tight, it’s not going to take much to move them out of their comfortable range of motion to cause severe pain and problems.
The more flexible you are, the more limber your body is if an unexpected force does come at it so that it’ll then be able to handle this force and regain composure.
If you’re very inflexible, that force is very lightly to cause intense pain immediately and could potentially cause a muscle strain or torn ligament.
Stretching Reduces DOMS
Another reason why flexibility work is important in your program plan is because this will also help to reduce the amount of post-workout soreness you experience as well.
Delayed onset of muscle soreness is something that many people battle with after an intense session of training and it often occurs because of the build-up of lactic acid as well as because the muscles maintain a high degree of tension.
By stretching after the workout, you help clear this build-up of lactic acid and also help the muscles relax so that they don’t have that tension contributing to soreness.
Stretching Improves Muscle Strength
Finally, the last reason why flexibility is important is because it can also increase your muscular strength level as well.
This may come as a surprise, but the reason it can do this is because the more flexible you are, the greater the range of motion you’ll be able to move through, thus the more stress you’ll be able to subject to the muscle cells.
By doing your regular flexibility work, you increase the range of motion that you’re comfortably able to move through, thus improving this factor tremendously.
So there you have the top reasons why stretching and flexibility training is a must. If you’re currently not adding any into your routine, it’s definitely time that you gave it some thought.