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Muscle Stretching Routine

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During a weight-training session, what do you do between sets? If you are like most people-you relax, talk to friends or maybe even check out a member of the opposite sex. While these activities might help you to waste the time, they do little to improve your physique. You should realize that your time in the gym is precious. If you really want to maximize your genetic potential, your actions must be dedicated to making optimal use of every training moment.

One of the best ways to make productive use of your rest intervals is to utilize a method called selective muscular stretching. Although many people regard stretching only as a means to increase flexibility, it can provide a multitude of muscular benefits when incorporated into your routine. In fact stretching a pumped muscle can enhance the quality of your workouts and help to promote muscular growth. Let’s take a look at the benefits afforded by this practical technique.

Reduced lactic acid build up Nothing sabotages a workout more than the build up of lactic acid in your muscles. Lactic acid is a waste by product of Apothem primary source of energy used to fuel your muscles during anaerobic exercise (weight-training). It’s responsible for the burning sensation that accompanies intense training and eventually prevents your ability to achieve a muscular contraction. In simple words, once it builds up you simply cannot train any longer. Stretching helps to neutralize the negative effects of lactic acid by restoring blood flow to your working muscles. It provides an outlet to flush metabolic waste from your body, affording rapid regeneration of your muscular capacity.

Better muscular recovery Contrary to popular belief, muscle tissue is actually broken down, not built up during a weight training session. This kind of damage contributes to the presence of delayed-onset muscle soreness that often accompanies a gruelling workout. However, by adapting stretching exercises you can repair muscle tissue and accelerate the healing process. Therefore, there is less post-exercise fatigue and diminished muscle soreness. The result is better recuperation between workouts, allowing you to come back strong for your next training session.  

Increased range of motion During weight training concentric repetitions cause your muscle to shorten. Over time they can adapt to this reduced length, restricting their range of motion. This limitation decreases the amount of force you are able to generate in your contractions and therefore compromising any muscular gains. Stretching exercises help to counteract these adverse effects, elongating your muscles to pre-exercise levels. You maintain greater elasticity in your joints and connective tissue, facilitating your ability to work though a full range of motions. Moreover, since your body is more flexible, you are less likely to exceed its stress barriers, reducing the possibility of an unpleasant injury.

As a rule stretching should be static. For best results stretching should be included into your workout regimen on a regular basis. As soon as a set is completed, immediately stretch the muscle being trained by utilizing the movements discussed below. Try to hold each stretch throughout the entire rest interval and then proceed directly to your next set. Here’s how:

Panos_str1.jpg (45429 bytes)Chest stretch - From a standing position grasp any stationary object such as a pole or exercise machine with your right hand. Your arm should be straight and roughly parallel with the ground. Slowly turn your body away from the object, allowing your arm to go as far behind your body as comfortably possible. Hold this position for the desired amount of time and repeat the process on the left.

Panos_str2.jpg (52743 bytes)Shoulder stretch - From a standing position grasp your right wrist with your left hand. Without turning your body, slowly pull your right arm across your torso as far as comfortably possible. Hold this position for the desired amount of time and repeat the process on the left.

Panos_str3.jpg (44166 bytes)Lat stretch - From a standing position grasp any stationary object such as a pole or exercise machine with both hands. Bend your knees and sit back so that arms are fully extended and supporting your weight. Shift your weight to the right in order to isolate the right portion of your lathed this position for the desired amount of time and then shift your weight to the left.

Panos_str4.jpg (59550 bytes)Triceps stretch - From a standing position raise your right arm over your head. Bend your elbow so that your right hand is behind your head. With your left hand grasp your right wrist and pull it back as far as comfortably possible, allowing your elbow to point toward the ceiling. Hold this position for the desired amount of time and repeat the process on the left.

Panos_str5.jpg (41786 bytes)Biceps stretch - From a standing position extend your right arm forward with your palm facing up. Place your left palm underneath your right elbow. Slowly straighten your right arm as much as comfortably possible, pressing your elbow down into your left hand. Hold this position for the desired amount of time and repeat the process on the left.

Panos_str6.jpg (45634 bytes)Quadriceps stretch - From a standing position grasp a stationary object with your left hand. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot toward your glutes. Grasp your right ankle with your right hand and slowly pull your foot upward as high as comfortably possible. Repeat this process on the left

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