Stretching is very important because it improves flexibility. What is flexibility? Well, flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or a series of joints. Flexibility is also the length in muscles that cross the joints to induce a bending movement.
People tend to neglect stretching before and after training sessions, or if they do get to it then they rush through it and don’t get the full benefit.
The benefits of stretching include posture improvement, a decrease chance of injury, and an increase of the blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage which then reduce soreness.
Muscles work in pairs around a joint so when we don’t stretch one muscle will start to get lengthened while the other shortens which will then create an imbalance. When this happens it alters the way your body moves and inhibits the range of motion you have. A decrease in your range of motion can lead to injuries both minor and major. This will also lead to a decrease in your strength and performance.
One way to help keep your range of motion and reduce muscle soreness is through myofascial release. This relaxes your contracted muscles and stimulates the stretch reflex in them. A couple tools you can use for this is a foam roller and a massage ball which you can find here.
Here are a few stretches you can do starting today: