A good workout puts a lot of stress on the body and it’s important to take time for recovery. Stretching can help to reduce muscles soreness and injuries, improve balance, range of motion and enhance physical activities. A static stretch relaxes the muscle and if you hold it for a longer time, the muscle might seem elongated, but that’s only a temporary feeling. Stretching does not lengthen the muscles, that’s a common misconception and anatomically not possible. Muscles are attached at one point of the bone and end at another, a stretch cannot change those attachment points.
You don’t have to tie yourself into a knot to get the benefits of a good stretch. Usually flexible people enjoy stretching more because they are good at it, versus the not so flexible ones are dreading it. But just because you can’t touch your toes, doesn’t mean you can’t stretch properly. Focus on the muscles you worked, or which feel tight and hold the stretch for 20-30 sec., you should feel a light tightness in that area.
Next time you are finishing up your workout or after a long day in day in the office, take five minutes for a good stretching routine. Your body will thank you, in the gym and in everyday life. 😊