How Stretching Can Help You To Build More Muscle!

Posted on November 18th, 2012 at 4:06 am by


Stretching should form an integral part of any workout routine intending to build muscle.  If you do not stretch you are missing out on a vital aspect to muscle growth, not to mention placing yourself at risk of injury.  You should stretch before and after your workout although the type of stretching you do before your workout would be very different from the type of stretching you do after your workout.

Do Dynamic Stretching Before Your Workout

Dynamic stretching is best done before a workout and preferably following a few minutes of low intensity cardiovascular exercises.  This type of stretching would include full range movements similar to what a sprinter does before the start of a race.  This could include high knees, butt kicks, lunges, leg swings, arm circles and torso twists.  These movements encourage the release of synovial fluid for your joints to provide them with maximum flexibility and range of motion as well as helping to increase your heart-rate and temperature to prepare for your upcoming workout.  The aim of dynamic stretching is to prepare your muscles for your upcoming workout and can include simulation of the particular exercises you will perform but at a much lower intensity.  For example, if you are going to work out your chest today you might warm up with the dumbbell benchpress using a weight that is well below what you can lift.

Image courtesy of marin at

Do Static Stretches After Your Workout

After a workout, static stretches would be a suitable cool down for your muscles.  This consists of elongation of the muscle groups that you have exercised by holding them for up to 10 – 20 seconds.  This type of stretching helps to return your body to a pre workout state by reducing body temperature, breathing, and heart rate gradually so that waste can be removed from your system and nutrient rich blood be transported to your muscles that so badly need it.  Stretching at this time will also expand connective tissue which is a prerequisite for your muscles to get any bigger.  Overall, this is a vital step if you are to get the most out of your workout.

Image courtesy of photostock at

WARNING: Never Do Static Stretches Before  A Workout!

Stretching is an activity that should not be taken lightly as it not only can help to spur muscle growth but prevent serious injury.  It need not be a tedious process as a few minutes would be adequate.  Bear in mind that the type of stretching you do is important; static stretching before a workout is dangerous because it relaxes your muscles too much which can lead to injury during intense activity, so it should only be performed after a workout.  Stretching before a workout is optional but should be dynamic type exercises that serve to prepare your body for the type of exertion you will be doing over the course of your workout.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email