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Stretches are exercises that give muscles flexibility and prepare them for training. But they are also exercises that help to unload the load to which the muscles have been subjected throughout the physical exercise. The main objective of stretching is to avoid injuries and allow an increase in sports performance.
Stretches are gentle, sustained exercises that are aimed at increasing the range of motion of the joints and preparing and relaxing the muscles. Its practice is essential, regardless of whether we do a fitness class, bodybuilding exercises, or cardiovascular exercises.
But should we stretch all the muscles? The answer is Yes. It is vital to exercise all parts of the body, although it is true that more emphasis must be placed on those muscles that we are going to use the most during training.
When to stretch and why?
Our training routine will start with around 10-15 minutes of stretching. It is the phase in which we help to warm up the muscles in a progressive way to generate gentle and sustained tensions.
Stretching will be the first exercise we do but also the last. Once the main training is finished, we will spend some time releasing the tensions and loads that have accumulated in the muscles.
But stretching is not just exercises aimed at physical activity. During the rest days, it is also advisable to exercise the muscles to eliminate the stress and tension of the day-to-day, in addition to not spoiling the effort made the previous days in the fight to gain more flexibility.
The benefits of stretching
- They increase oxygen in the blood and help improve the respiratory system.
- They improve the flexibility of the muscles and reduce the possible shortening of the muscles thanks to the extension of movements.
- Continued stretching reduces the risk of injury.
- Relieve muscle aches.