I want to talk to you about the benefits of stretching for men and how to increase flexibility fast.
When you think about your workouts, do you truly feel you’re getting the most out of them and maximizing your results? I can tell you now, if you don’t make it a practice to stretch, you aren’t!
How is stretching useful for men?
If stretching seems like it’s a useless activity which won’t help you achieve your goals of building muscle mass, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, stretching for men is crucial to reaching a variety of body goals. Stretching is especially important for men since we tend to have more muscle mass, so there’s more to tend to and optimize.
To get a good stretch requires more than a few arm pulls and a quick shake before getting to business. A good stretch will yield almost immediate results with an increase in flexibility being an obvious major one.
So how to increase flexibility? Just 15 minutes a day will give you incredible results. Check out this 15 minute stretching routine:
Deep, intentional stretching aims to reaching as many muscles in the body as possible. Over time this trains them to become more flexible and grow stronger, improving your movement and sense of wellbeing.
If you are a man and have not been sold on the perks of stretching or aren’t sure where to start, read on to find out the major benefits of stretching for men and how to apply them in your workouts.
The Benefits of Stretching for Men
Dynamic stretching before engaging in a sport or doing a workout has been shown to help ease the muscles into the activity before they really get going. Stretching relaxes and elongates the muscles, allowing them to be more active throughout your activity.
Stretching also helps improve balance and stability in the body overall. Longer, leaner, and more stable muscles are more flexible and more successful at performing the task at hand.
Another great benefit of stretching is reducing the effect of muscle soreness. This allows you to recover more quickly and increase the overall volume of your workouts.
Reducing Risk of Injury
Undue stress on the joints due to under active muscles can cause joint injury. Strain and muscle damage can also happen when muscles aren’t properly warmed up and cooled down.
Stretching keeps muscles flexible and able to use the joint’s full range of motion. Another major benefit of stretching is increased blood flow throughout the body. This helps needed healing nutrients in the blood reach the muscles after a workout.
Improving General Health
Stretching is a great way to relax and become more in tune with your body. Doing regular, deep stretches helps release tension in the muscles allowing the entire body to feel more calm and to unwind.
The increase in blood flow throughout the body promoted by stretching has been shown to reduce anxiety and help people to be calmer and to think more clearly. Taking care of the body in one aspect is also a great motivator to take care of other areas of health such as good sleep and diet.
Improving Posture and Physique
Shrunken and underused muscles do not create an attractive physique. Weak spots in the muscles lend to bad posture which can cause slouching and rounding of the shoulders and back.
Stretching helps eliminate weak spots in the muscles and promotes proper alignment of the body. It can even help reverse bad posture after it has already begun.
Ways to Incorporate Stretching in Your Routine
Before you begin incorporating stretching into your routine, do not be afraid to consult a trainer or other professional. Research shows that how we stretch has a direct impact on the physical benefits we receive.
A professional will be able to help you find the most effective stretching routines to achieve your body goals. Once you do, there are many ways you can make stretching a part of your routine.
- Consider daily stretching in the morning or evening. Light yoga, basic stretches, or stretching videos can help wake up the mind and body each day. Some stretch before bed to relax and improve their sleep.
- Stretching before a workout. A dynamic warm up helps to prep the muscles for movement and get a better range of motion during the workout. Elongating the muscles also ensures the full muscle gets worked with no weak spots.
- Stretching after a workout. Cooling the muscles down can circulate the blood, reduce the heart rate, and relax the muscles after using them strenuously. It also helps prep the muscles to repair after exercise. Focus on stretching entire muscle groups for the best effect.
- Take designated stretching days or classes. Depending on your overall goals and needs it may be wise to incorporate entire days dedicated to stretching, balance, and flexibility. You could even take a class that focuses on these. Many of these classes also incorporate calming elements such as calming sounds, music, or even steam to create a relaxing vibe.
Tools to Use to Enhance Stretching
You can use resistance bands to stretch especially stiff areas in your body that are hard to reach without bending in an unnatural position. They also help to increase flexibility and stability and can even add a bit of strength training if they have a higher resistance. See our resistance band stretching plan.
#2 Yoga Mat
Stretching on the bare floor can be uncomfortable and also a potential cause for injury. Yoga mats are softer than the floor and provide some grip to reduce the chance of slipping while stretching.
Exercise balls are especially useful to stretch the back, hips, and legs, and to increase balance. If you are a beginner and need to build up strength in under used muscles, the exercise ball is a great tool.
#4 Foam Roller
Foam rolling is especially useful to relieve muscle tension before or after a workout. Rolling the muscles also helps to lengthen them as well.
Stretching for men is an invaluable step to creating the body and lifestyle you want.
As you stretch more you will notice you increase flexibility, improve your posture, and perform better at what you do.
With guidance from professionals and the right tools, your stretching routine will be solid in no time.