Stretching for Muscle Growth – the Key to More Effective Workouts
In order to build a muscular body, one needs things we all have heard of: first, a particular set of exercises carried out regularly to make the muscle work, then nutrition rich in all necessary substances to provide the muscles with energy and, finally, proper rest to “repair” the muscles and joints damaged during intense workouts. But this is not enough to make your muscles grow rapidly. Every bodybuilder also needs stretching, and not only for flexibility. When your goal is to gain muscle mass, stretching is far not the first thing you would think of. Actually it had better be. Look, why.
Fascia and Muscles
Every muscle in your body is surrounded by a soft tissue component of the connective tissue system, which is called fascia. Fascia also interpenetrates bones, organs, nerves and even blood vessels. It holds them in the proper place of the body, protects them from injuries, pathogenic agents and infections and maintains structural integrity. Fascia repairs the tissue after injury.
Fascia Slows down Muscle Growth
Apart from all the mentioned essential functions of fascia, it also holds back the process of muscle gaining, while there’s no bodybuilder wanting it. Fascia works the following way: when you work out regularly and feed your muscles with all necessary elements, they are supposed to grow and they do so, but there’s something stopping them – fascia, which provides no room to grow. This is how your body protects you from possible injuries. Imagine yourself trying to put on a pullover you wore as a child. There would simply be no room for you. The same happens to your muscles surrounded by fascia.
Stretching Fascia to Gain Muscle Mass
One would think, this is the way Mother Nature created humans and there’s nothing to do with it, but actually you can influence the state of things by stretching. You didn’t misread it. Such simple thing as stretching is very effective in gaining muscle mass. Stretching your muscles in a specific way, you can stretch your fascia, too. This can provide more room for your muscles to grow. So, back on the pullover example, you can make it bigger and, thus, create enough room for you.
How to Stretch Correctly to Make Muscles Grow
Don’t stretch too hard, it could lead to muscle tear or injury. When stretching your muscles, you shouldn’t feel any sharp pain, do everything gradually. Provide your muscles with a set of stretch (20-30 seconds for each stretch) after every exercise set. By doing this, you will benefit three times, as you will increase muscle flexibility, reduce myalgia after workouts and provide your muscles with more ability to grow.