The importance of stretching to prevent muscle injuries

Apr 25th, 2014

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Category: Exercise

The importance of stretching to prevent muscle injuries

It has always been said and it is sure that you have heard it too that that you should always stretch when practising sports. But really, is it necessary to stretch? At what point? And how?

The so sedentary lives we lead, mainly due to the long hours spent sitting or moving slightly at work, cause certain muscle groups to shorten and therefore, this can cause injury not only in a muscle in particular but also in other parts of the body that are linked to them through the fascia (the tissue that surrounds, protects and connects the muscles). When you think about the muscles you cannot only think of that specific muscle, but in the entire muscle chain that encompasses various muscles. In this sense, all the muscles are connected through fascias, and these make a particular function work in groups and not individually.

Hamstring stretch

Hamstring stretch

Therefore, stretching is important for everyone and not only for those practising sports! So help prevent possible future injuries and improve your physical and mental performance. The best known muscular lesion chain problem involving the human body in the posterior muscle chain (CMP).
It is common especially in men. What happens is a significant contraction of the hamstring muscles (those muscles in the back of your thighs). So this is the muscle group you should strech more often and keep in mind that when you stretch a muscle group, you also stretch the muscle chain that surrounds it.

In this way, by stretching you can avoid CMP and reduce the risk of injury. To be more exact, it is really important for everyone to check his flexibility and perform streches, not for just a particular muscle but for your whole body, through the stretching of similar muscle chains.

It is also important to be aware that for a muscle group to stretch properly, stretching must be carried out with moderate intensity (no pain) and it should last long enough (minimum 1 minute). As you have noticed, everyone who stretches in the gym does so with haste, stretching for fifteen seconds tops, reaching the limits of pain. This makes it impossible to reach the relaxing point of the muscle so it can be stretched.

Finally, you need to remember that it is equally or more important to stretch before doing a sport or hitting the gym than later. You have to get used to devoting ten minutes to stretch before starting a physical activity, in the same way that you spend time to do your warm-up. Your muscles need to be stretched adequetely to avoid injuries or even muscle tears.

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