Why Assisted Stretching is Right for You!
As most of you know by now, I’m helping Cindy this summer and offering stretch sessions of my own (at a discounted rate! You can sign up here!). But why should you get stretched, and how is it beneficial?
Assisted stretching has many benefits. Have you noticed that you don’t have much range of motion, that your flexibility lacks, or that your mobility isn’t what it used to be? Have you struggled with tight muscles and achy joints? Do you suffer from high stress and poor sleep? Have you ever wished that you could improve your performance and reduce your risk of injury? Or wished that you could more easily grow your muscles and reduce muscle weakness? Assisted stretching can help you improve all of these! With more range of motion and flexibility, you are less likely to injure yourself during activity, and with increased mobility, activity will be easier and less painful. Improving your flexibility also helps reduce your risk of injury by giving your body more range of motion to use and not be hindered by tight muscles, which will improve your overall performance. Stretching these tight muscles can also reduce your stress levels and improve your sleep habits, while decreasing joint pain. Assisted stretching in general may also stimulate muscle growth and prevent muscle weakness! If you want to see any of these benefits, assisted stretching is right for you.
Most of us are stuck in the same position day after day at our jobs. After a while, our muscles get used to these positions, and some muscles can tighten. The most commonly found tight muscles are the pectoralis minors. This happens because we don’t sit or stand with proper posture, and our shoulders tend to curl in. Because we’re in this position so much, our pec muscles tighten and our back muscles lengthen, creating a muscle imbalance. Muscle imbalances can cause issues further down the line, so stretching the tight muscles can be a great start to preventing this!
Not only can assisted stretching relax tight muscles and reduce stiffness, it can also reduce stress and improve sleep! Many of us hold our stress and anxiety in our muscles. They’re tensed with our constant stress, so stretching them and relieving that constant contraction can actually help you relax and reduce your stress levels. When we are more relaxed, we can more easily fall asleep and stay asleep.
In stretching tight muscles and getting them to relax, we can also reduce joint pain. Muscles act as levers. They attach at two different points, usually on both sides of a joint, to cause movement. In relaxing the muscles on either side of the joint, they won’t pull as hard on the joint in opposite directions, ultimately reducing joint pain.
Another benefit of stretching is that it may stimulate muscle growth and prevent muscle weakness! Stretching can offer increased blood flow. This is highly beneficial because our muscle fibers need lots of blood and oxygen to work properly and ultimately remodel themselves to get stronger. The increased blood flow may stimulate additional muscle hypertrophy. Stretching also prevents muscle weakness by ensuring the muscles maintain their proper length, rather than shortening. If a muscle shortens and stays shortened, it can cause muscle weakness. This happens because when you contract the muscle to make a movement, it isn’t as long as it was, and therefore the motion and contraction aren’t as strong as they should be.
Overall, stretching offers only positives, as long as you aren’t injured. It can help increase range of motion, flexibility, and mobility, while relaxing tight muscles and relieving joint pain, to reduce stress and improve sleep. Being flexible reduces your risk of injury, and improves your performance. Stretching may also help stimulate muscle growth by improving blood flow, and reducing muscle weakness. Contact Cindy at BodyFit if you’d like to jump on the stretch train and enjoy all of these stretching benefits for yourself!
5 Benefits of Assisted Stretch. Sana Vida. (2019, September 30). https://sanavida.info/benefits-of-assisted-stretch/#:~:text=Regular%20assisted%20stretching%20increases%20flexibility,better%20performance%20and%20structural%20stability.
Nunes, J. P., Schoenfeld, B. J., Nakamura, M., Ribeiro, A. S., Cunha, P. M., & Cyrino, E. S. (2020). Does stretch training induce muscle hypertrophy in humans? A review of the literature. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging, 40(3), 148–156. https://doi-org.springfieldcollege.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/cpf.12622
The importance of stretching. Harvard Health. (2019, September 25). https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching#:~:text=Why%20stretching%20is%20important,to%20extend%20all%20the%20way.