Stretching: Muscle Building Routines

1405 Words Apr 13th, 2001 6 Pages
Today, millions of people have discovered the benefits of stretching. Over the last years, studies have shown that people that live these active lives live fuller lives. In fact, studies show that a lack of physical activity directly relates to many major illnesses and death. Before the Industrial Revolution, people actually had to work hard to get their needed amount of movement. After the Revolution, it became a different story. People no longer needed to work physically to make a life for themselves. With this lack of movement came lack of flexibility. Now, everywhere you look, you see people out jogging, hiking, and playing golf, tennis, and other sports to stay active. The fitness trend is in; but it's not a trend anymore. Now, …show more content…
This stretch reflex is directly related to how fast the muscle is stretched. If you stretch a muscle quickly, it will naturally want to return quickly. One of the reasons for holding a stretch for a prolonged period of time is that as you hold the muscle in a stretched position, you give the fiber a chance to slowly extend to its longest point. When muscles contract due to the stretch reflex, they produce tension at the point where the muscle is connected to the tendon. When this tension exceeds a certain point, it triggers a "lengthening reaction" which stops the muscles from contracting and causes them to relax. There are many internal and external factors that restrict the natural relaxation of the muscle. Internal factors include the elasticity of your skin, tendons and ligaments, and muscle tissue; type of joint (some joints weren't made to be flexible); or temperature of the joint (joints extend better when they are a few degrees higher than normal). External factors include the temperature of the place where you are training; the time of day; and your commitment to perform the exercises. Strength training and stretching should go hand in hand. Many people think that there must always be a compromise between flexibility and strength. If you neglect flexibility training altogether in order to train for strength then you are certainly sacrificing flexibility. The same goes for excessive flexibility training. However, performing
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