6 Benefits of Stretching: Why Flexibility Is Important


“Don’t forget to stretch!” You’ve heard it time and again from P.E. lecturers, fitness instructors, sleep specialists, and wellness gurus.

You don’t doubt that there are loads of advantages of stretching — it looks as if sound recommendation.

But what are the advantages of stretching, precisely?

Is stretching strictly a gym-day exercise, or are there advantages of stretching day by day?

And are there advantages of stretching earlier than mattress, even when you didn’t have a very lively day?

To higher perceive the advantages of stretching, we spoke with a handful of specialists. Here’s what they needed to say.

1. Stretching Prepares the Body for Physical Activity

One of crucial advantages of stretching is that it prepares your body for bodily exercise.

“Stretching before working out will improve your range of motion, make your muscles more pliable, and increase your muscles’ resistance to the upcoming impact,” says Michael Julom, CPT, founder of ThisIsWhyImFit.com.

However, when selecting pre-workout stretches, it’s preferable to stay to dynamic stretches, which is able to:

  • get you transferring
  • enhance blood movement
  • increase the temperature of your body’s tissues

“For example, if you’re about to go for heavy squats, dynamic movements like hip rotations and high kicks should feature in your warm-up,” says Julom.

Woman stretching her arm

2. Stretching Helps Correct Imbalances

Like most complicated machines, the body requires common upkeep to maintain it functioning correctly.

One of the advantages of stretching is that it supplies a mini tune-up when our day by day actions (or nightly relaxation) trigger misalignment.

Dr. Bruce Pinker, DPM, PC, foot and ankle sports activities drugs specialist, explains that merely sleeping in sure positions could cause some tissues to elongate whereas others tighten.

“Stretching prior to working out is important to help equalize and realign muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which may be stretched or shortened, and this can help prevent injury,” Pinker says.

“If some muscles, tendons, or ligaments are shortened or tightened, it may cause an individual to compensate in her workout by favoring one side over the other. [This can lead] to potentially improper movements that can cause muscle or tendon strains or ligamentous sprains that can be painful,” he provides.

3. Stretching Reduces Post-Exercise Tightness

Whether we had been quick on time or simply didn’t really feel like spending one other 5 minutes on the exercise mat, we’ve all skipped post-exercise stretching, solely to have our muscle groups remind us how essential it’s the subsequent day.

Where dynamic stretching helped you put together for exercise, post-workout static stretching ( e.g., holding stretches for 30 seconds) will help your body get well.

“The benefits of stretching after a workout are significant,” Pinker says.

“It allows for a gradual recovery of the body, which helps the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to return to a proper resting or neutral position. This can help reduce post-exercise contractures and tightness which, in turn, can help reduce injury.”

Woman doing a yoga stretch at home

4. Stretching Improves Range of Motion

Another profit of stretching after a exercise? It’s the perfect time to work on flexibility and mobility, says Lara Heimann, PT, creator of LYT Yoga.

“Post-workout is a good opportunity to stretch the fascia (connective tissue) since the body is warmer and the tissues will be more supple,” she says.

Ensuring you’ve gotten the mandatory vary of movement to carry out exercises, take part in sports activities, and full on a regular basis actions will help safeguard in opposition to injury-causing motion compensations.

5. Stretching Bolsters Athletic Performance

Will stretching alone make you MVP? Not precisely.

But an absence of mobility may maintain you again from reaching your full athletic potential, says Dr. Lisa N. Folden, licensed bodily therapist and proprietor of Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants.

“If a muscle can’t make it through its full range of motion without tearing or causing pain, it is weak,” Folden says.

“When you stretch regularly and maintain good flexibility, your muscles perform optimally. Have you ever seen a sprinter pull a hamstring halfway through the 100-meter? Well, that’s the kind of athletic performance you can expect if you’re not maintaining good flexibility,” she explains.

Woman stretching

6. Stretching Relieves Stress

If you’re not motivated by the bodily advantages of stretching, think about the psychological health advantages of stretching.

“Daily stretching is important for maintaining good range of motion in the joints, but it’s also beneficial for your breathing capacity and stress relief,” Heimann says.

“Stretching the torso, ribcage, spine, and surrounding tissues will leave you feeling more relaxed as well, a residual effect of stretching. Stretching can also trigger the release of feel-good hormones that will create a positive feedback loop, meaning you will want to keep stretching each day!”

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