Stretching: what is it and how important is it?

Stretching is a training method that consists of stretching muscles and, when you practice it regularly, it helps you to achieve a good level of joint mobility. Stretching is a training method which consists of stretching groups of muscles. By practising it regularly you can attain good level of joint mobility.

The benefits

At skeletal muscle level, stretching increases the flexibility and elasticity of your muscles and tendons, with an overall improvement of your capacity for movement.
Additionally, it is an excellent way of preventing muscle contractures, in some cases it lessens the feeling of fatigue and may prevent trauma to muscles and joints.

The benefits for joints too are significant: in fact stretching makes it possible to improve the elasticity of muscles and stimulate joint "lubrication", helping to mitigate degenerative illnesses such as arthritis.
Indeed, it keeps joints "young", slowing down the calcification of the connective tissue.

Stretching exercises also help to decrease arterial blood pressure improving circulation, as well as facilitating relaxation, reducing physical stress and improving coordination of movements.

Rules for performing exercises correctly

Stretching, as we know it in the West, was made popular in Europe by Bob Anderson.
His method is the forerunner of other techniques that have evolved over the course of the years.
In order to use the method correctly, you must follow a number of rules:

  • it is important to identify the muscle group to be stretched, find a comfortable but effective position which, once it has been reached, should be held for a period of 15 to 30 seconds;
  • it is very important that the stretching does not become painful;
  • before stretching, it is important to warm the muscle, therefore it would seem that stretching at the end of a workout is more effective, to help your body to relax after the workout session; it must however be stressed that some authors suggest performing stretching when muscles are cold, to increase its effectiveness (above all on connective tissue).

There are also other small tactics which make stretching more effective:

  • it is important to dress comfortably, thus permitting greater freedom of movement without hampering breathing;
  • another important aspect is the area where you perform the exercises: stretching usually involves a series of postures performed on the floor.
    The floor must not therefore be too cold and it is advisable to use a mat so that the surface on which you stretch is relatively comfortable.
    Additionally, the surroundings must not be noisy, because this will distract you from relaxation. It is also important not to compare your performance with that of others, since this will lead only to pointless competition and probably will alter your perception of pain.

Flexability  is the best choice if you wish to focus on stretching at home or in the gym.
By maintaining the correct alignment between spinal muscles and the spinal column stabilisers, it permits you to gradually stretch your anterior muscle chain (torso-pelvis-lower limbs) and your posterior muscle chain.

The strength of these two machines lies in their innovative technology, called SELFLEX (Patent pending).
This exclusive system developed by Technogym® permits a gradual increase in the extent of the muscle stretch with a gradual action proportioned to the body weight of the user, thus avoiding potentially dangerous situations.

With just a few minutes each day you will achieve magnificent results, why don't you try?