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It is believed that "stretching stimulates the production or retention of lubricants between the connective tissue fibers, thus preventing the formation of adhesions". Hence, exercise can delay some of the loss of flexibility that occurs due to the aging process. Alter further states that some of the physical changes attributed to aging are the following: An increased amount of calcium deposits, adhesions, and cross-links in the body An increase in the level of fragmentation and dehydration Changes in the chemical structure of the tissues.

Loss of suppleness due to the replacement of muscle fibers with fatty, collagenous fibers. This does not mean that you should give up trying to achieve flexibility if you are old or inflexible. It just means that you need to work harder, and more carefully, for a longer period of time when attempting to increase flexibility. Increases in the ability of muscle tissues and connective tissues to elongate stretch can be achieved at any age.

Strength and Flexibility Overflexibility : next section Factors Limiting Flexibility : previous section Flexibility : beginning of chapter Strength training and flexibility training should go hand in hand. It is a common misconception that there must always be a trade-off between flexibility and strength.

Obviously, if you neglect flexibility training altogether in order to train for strength then you are certainly sacrificing flexibility and vice versa. However, performing exercises for both strength and flexibility need not sacrifice either one. As a matter of fact, flexibility training and strength training can actually enhance one another. Static stretching of fatigued muscles see section Static Stretching performed immediately following the exercise s that caused the fatigue, helps not only to increase flexibility, but also enhances the promotion of muscular development muscle growth , and will actually help decrease the level of post-exercise soreness.

Here's why: After you have used weights or other means to overload and fatigue your muscles, your muscles retain a "pump" and are shortened somewhat. This "shortening" is due mostly to the repetition of intense muscle activity that often only takes the muscle through part of its full range of motion. This "pump" makes the muscle appear bigger.

The "pumped" muscle is also full of lactic acid and other by-products from exhaustive exercise. If the muscle is not stretched afterward, it will retain this decreased range of motion it sort of "forgets" how to make itself as long as it could and the buildup of lactic acid will cause post-exercise soreness. Static stretching of the "pumped" muscle helps it to become "looser", and to "remember" its full range of movement.

Total Body Stretch - Flexibility Exercises for the Entire Body

It also helps to remove lactic acid and other waste-products from the muscle. While it is true that stretching the "pumped" muscle will make it appear visibly smaller, it does not decrease the muscle's size or inhibit muscle growth.

Got my flexibility back after many years!

It merely reduces the "tightness" contraction of the muscles so that they do not "bulge" as much. Also, strenuous workouts will often cause damage to the muscle's connective tissue. The tissue heals in 1 to 2 days but it is believed that the tissues heal at a shorter length decreasing muscular development as well as flexibility.

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To prevent the tissues from healing at a shorter length, physiologists recommend static stretching after strength workouts. Why Contortionists Should Strengthen Why Bodybuilders Should Stretch : previous subsection Strength and Flexibility : beginning of section You should be "tempering" or balancing your flexibility training with strength training and vice versa. Do not perform stretching exercises for a given muscle group without also performing strength exercises for that same group of muscles.

Judy Alter, in her book Stretch and Strengthen , recommends stretching muscles after performing strength exercises, and performing strength exercises for every muscle you stretch.


In other words: "Strengthen what you stretch, and stretch after you strengthen! When the connective tissue of a muscle is weak, it is more likely to become damaged due to overstretching, or sudden, powerful muscular contractions. The likelihood of such injury can be prevented by strengthening the muscles bound by the connective tissue. Kurz suggests dynamic strength training consisting of light dynamic exercises with weights lots of reps, not too much weight , and isometric tension exercises.

If you also lift weights, dynamic strength training for a muscle should occur before subjecting that muscle to an intense weightlifting workout. This helps to pre-exhaust the muscle first, making it easier and faster to achieve the desired overload in an intense strength workout. Attempting to perform dynamic strength training after an intense weightlifting workout would be largely ineffective. If you are working on increasing or maintaining flexibility then it is very important that your strength exercises force your muscles to take the joints through their full range of motion.

4 Leg Stretches for Flexibility

According to Kurz , Repeating movements that do not employ a full range of motion in the joints like cycling, certain weightlifting techniques, and pushups can cause of shortening of the muscles surrounding the joints. Overflexibility Strength and Flexibility : previous section Flexibility : beginning of chapter It is possible for the muscles of a joint to become too flexible. According to SynerStretch , there is a tradeoff between flexibility and stability. As you get "looser" or more limber in a particular joint, less support is given to the joint by its surrounding muscles. Excessive flexibility can be just as bad as not enough because both increase your risk of injury.

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Once a muscle has reached its absolute maximum length, attempting to stretch the muscle further only serves to stretch the ligaments and put undue stress upon the tendons two things that you do not want to stretch. Scientifically proven that regular stretching helps reduce muscle stiffness, release pain, improve flexibility and relieve stress. Why stretch? Avoid injury Increasing flexibility and range of motion in your joints is important for workout and running.

Stretching before exercise is highly recommended because it can reduce muscle and joint tension, prevent cramps and avoid the risk of any injuries. It also helps fast recovery and reduces muscle soreness after exercise. Relieve pain Stretching is widely used in back pain treatment. Research shows stretching improves the blood circulation of muscles and joints, which can help healing and releasing pain. It's a natural but essential way to treat pain and decrease fatigue and stress.

Increase flexibility Stretching maintains body flexibility. It develops and maintains mobility and muscle strength. As muscles and joints weaken as we age, stretching is also important for the elderly. No locked features - No equipment needed, training at home or anywhere anytime - Workout reminder helps you make stretching a daily habit - Track your calories burned - Records training progress automatically - The chart tracks your weight trends - Dynamic stretching, stretching exercises for flexibility, flexibility training, warm up exercises, stretching routines, flexibility training, Stretch for runners Fitness Coach All workouts are designed by professional fitness coach.

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