The Importance Of Stretching For Muscle Growth

What’s the biggest secret to growing fabulously strong muscles other than getting your daily dose of lean protein? Stretching. It’s probably not the first thing that crosses your mind when it comes to muscle-building, but it turns out – incorporating some stretching after your bodybuilding session can make a ton of a difference.

Why Do I Need To Stretch To Grow My Muscles?

By stretching your targeted muscles, you can increase the size of your fascia, which allows your muscles room to grow.


All your muscles are enclosed in fascia – which is basically a bag of tough connective tissue While fascia is important for keeping your muscles in place while you move, they hinder your muscle growth. This is because the tough nature of this tissue doesn’t allow your muscle room to expand. And anything that grows in size, needs more room!

So whether you eat right, and do all the right weight lifting exercises, your muscles won’t grow properly because your fascia is constricting them all the time.


The solution to this problem is stretching. By engaging your muscles with stretching exercises under specific conditions, you can increase the size of your fascia, thereby giving more room to your muscles to expand and grow.

Should I Stretch Before My Workout Or After?

It is recommended to put your targeted muscle group through some intense stretching right after you’ve completed your workout.


This is one of the most frequently asked questions about weight training and bodybuilding. Should you do it before, during, or after?

This is a well-placed question because when you choose to do your stretching exercises can matter immensely. If you stretch at the wrong time, you could end up seriously damaging, sometimes even injuring your muscles.


Stretching your muscles before you start your workout could be a fatal mistake. When you stretch a cold muscle, you put yourself at the risk of very painful injuries which could range from minor to severe muscle tears. Even if you don’t injure yourself, stretching before working out could reduce the power in your muscles. As a result, you can’t put in your best when you’re actually training your muscles because they’re already half tired.

The same stands true for stretching your muscles during your workout. Agreed, the increase in blood flow may feel good, but a better way to accomplish this would be by lightly massaging the targeted muscles in between performing sets.


However, it’s important to note that if you execute your stretching exercises correctly while training, it can help in increasing muscle strength and bring down the recovery time in between your sets. This can be done by targeting the antagonistic muscle to particular one you are training. For instance, you could stretch your hamstrings right after you’re done with the leg press.

For overall optimum muscle building and weight training results, it is always recommended to stretch your targeted muscles immediately after completing your entire workout. This is when your muscles are sore and tired, and stretching will not only help relieve muscle tension after that vigorous workout but will also enhance muscle flexibility and reduce muscle recovery time.


Intensify The Stretches For Maximum Benefit

Putting your trained muscles through intense stretching increases the rate at which your muscle fibers grow in size.

What do we imply by intense stretching? It means your muscles should hurt while you push them. Intense stretching may be accomplished by bringing yourself to the bottom position of chest flye while supporting some weight in your hands. You may even apply a close grip to hang from a chinning bar while asking either your instructor or your gym partner to pull your waist downward.


Putting your trained muscles through intense stretches increases the hypertrophy rate or the rate at which your muscle fibers grow in size. This further increases the number of skeletal muscle cells and fuels the production of growth factors that are favorable to enhancing the size of your muscles. And while it could be excruciatingly difficult to stretch your freshly worked sore muscles, you’ll see the difference for yourself within a few weeks.

It is ideally recommended to do at least 2 to 3 stretching exercises for each muscle group while holding each stretch for about 30 to 60 seconds.