Have you been stretching daily?

Have you been stretching daily?

When was the last time you really took time out of your day to give some attention to your muscles? I don’t mean admiring yourself in the mirror, and striking some poses. I’m talking about stretching and massaging your muscle tissue and giving your body some care. Your muscles are put under a lot of stress from those workouts that you put it through day after day and not many people take that into consideration. Think about it: the constant contractions under heavy stress loads, followed by endless amounts of sets and reps, repeated daily, weekly, and yearly, can really do a number on the muscle tissue and surrounding tendons, bones, and ligaments.

I know many people that complain about tense hamstrings, lower back, and neck muscles, but they rarely do anything about it! If you do really care about your body, and you are currently only working out and performing daily cardio thinking it’s going to keep your body healthy, you’re going to have to hop over to the maintenance side, a side that not many people actually think about. You wouldn’t run a car for years without any regular maintenance would you? Don’t get me wrong, it would still run and get you from point A to B, but as for how good it runs, that will determine how much care you put into it. Your body is the same. On top of limiting your mobility in your day to day life, having tight and tense muscles may lead to gym injuries because tight muscles cannot effectively protect your joints from the stresses. To maximize your performance, and ensure a healthy body, you need to take muscle flexibility, myofascial release (done with foam rolling), and spine mobility into account on top of the workouts and cardiovascular health if you want to guarantee proper posture and structural balance as you age.

Muscle flexibility is very important when it comes to wanting to build a strong and healthy body. A majority of lifters often suffer from tight and tense muscles and don’t ever think about doing anything about it. And they rarely even admit it! The truth is that tight and tense muscles might actually be stopping you from increasing your overall strength and performance in the gym. Having tight muscles will always have effects on the opposing muscle. For example, if you have tight hamstrings, it will have effects on your quadriceps, often affecting how much weight you can lift during a squat. The best approach to increasing your muscle flexibility and reducing tightness is static stretching and foam rolling. This is pretty straight forward and if you don’t know what foam rolling is, you can catch that article right here: Foam rolling muscles


Here is the list of the most common tight muscles on the body that you should pay more attention to if you haven’t been already:

Traps: Traps deserve a lot of your attention and you should take time out of your day to carefully massage yourself because this muscle surrounds vital nerves that can be compressed and can often lead to headaches.

Chest: This is a muscle that not a lot of guys take into consideration, but it’s very important. Having tight chest muscles can often affect the posture, because it often pulls the shoulders forward, especially if you have a weaker back. Concentrate some time on really stretching and opening up your chest to improve posture.

Hip-flexors: Guys, if you don’t know what this is, you need to research it. 9 out of 10 people have really tense hip flexors, especially if you work a job that is sitting. If you have lower back pain and tension, try stretching out your hips. It helps a whole lot.

Calves: We’re often standing all day, walking around, and some of us run. And this can lead to really tight and tense calves. This can cause problems such as affecting posture and causing lower back pain. I find that foam rolling does a great job of getting tight knots and relieves tension.

This is pretty much it for this article. If you haven’t been stretching tight muscles a whole lot or taking time out of your day to foam roll your precious muscles, you need to start. Daily maintenance is key to preventing gym injuries and goes a long way to building a strong and balanced body. Plus it feels great to foam roll and stretch tight muscles. Take a few minutes out of your day to really care for your muscles. Your body will thank you for it. See you guys in the next article!

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John considers himself as a fitness enthusiast who loves to do anything to keep the body in peak physical performance (much like a highly tuned machine). He mainly focuses on sports nutrition and supplement research, but is also highly knowledgeable in relation to muscle growth and fat loss. He's helped numerous people over the years achieve the body that they've always wanted and hopes his information will guide you to the goals you want.

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