Importance of Stretching for Bodybuilders

stretching for bodybuilders

Is stretching for bodybuilders necessary? When to do it: before training, after every set or after a workout? We checked some materials on the net. There are personal, to say the least, erroneous conclusions of fitness bloggers.

The main types

  • Static – muscle stretching at one maximum point for a long time and in one position.
  • PNF – alternating muscle tension and contraction.
  • Passive – with the participation of external influence – a partner.
  • Active – without the participation of outsiders.
  • Ballistic – jumps are used to force the muscles to stretch more and deeper.
  • Dynamic – muscle stretching in motion and with increasing speed.

Common myths about stretching for bodybuilders

  • Improves overall flexibility, develops muscle strength, increases stamina, improves flexibility and mobility of joints, increases the range of motion, helps control your body.
  • Improves blood circulation in the muscles.
  • Promotes muscle growth, stretches their connective tissue, allowing the muscles to develop even more.
  • Reduces the risk of injury during training.
  • Promotes muscle healing, relieves pain.
  • Relieves muscle tension, relieves stiffness, and tightness.
  • Improving blood flow helps to eliminate decomposition products from the muscles.
  • Restores and prepares muscles for a new load during training.
  • Simplifies training due to the physical and psychological preparation of the body before class.

Science about stretching for bodybuilders

bodybuilder stretching

Does muscle stretching reduce trauma?

NO! All available studies and the experience of athletes show that injuries occur during exercise in the natural range of motion. For example, torn pectorals during the bench press or biceps during bent-over rowing. This is confirmed by a meta-analysis of 361 scientific papers published in the USA in 2004 and a 2008 study. As it turned out, the risk of injuries is reduced not by stretching, but by preheating and performing dynamic exercises in the estimated range of motion.

How does stretching affect strength? ⠀

During training – NEGATIVE! Studies published in 2010 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. A group of 17 volunteers performed a series of vertical jumps, with some previously stretched and others not. The height of the jumps, the peak strength of the leg muscles, and the maximum speed after stretching – all these indicators were significantly lower.

For example, powerlifters do not perform any stretching exercises between sets, as know that this will lead to a drop in strength. Stretching for bodybuilders will lead to a drop in strength results will reduce the number of muscle fibers involved in the work, and therefore their smaller number will be stimulated to grow.

BUT Michael J. Alter’s book “The Science of Flexibility,” says that when training only on the development of muscle strength, a gradual reduction in the length of sarcomeres occurs at rest, which slightly worsens the muscular ability to work. Stretching normalizes the length of regularly working sarcomeres, and allows you to achieve greater muscle strength.

Thus, it becomes obvious that muscle stretching during training has absolutely no pluses, but there are minuses while doing it AFTER workout or on a separate day is rational.

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