Can Stretching Really Improve Your Muscle Growth?
What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear muscle growth? Whatever your answer may be, it’s probably not stretching, right? But did you know that stretching is not only important for flexibility? Stretching for muscle growth is a real thing, and it’s actually quite effective.
In fact, if you’re not stretching, you may be diminishing your gains without even realizing it. How so? Well, there are many reasons – one of them involving the fascia that surrounds your muscle.
Every muscle in our body is essentially enclosed in a bag of rigid connective tissue, which is known as fascia. Let’s dive a little deeper and get a good understanding of precisely what fascia is and how stretching the fascia can lead to more significant gains in muscle tissue.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is quite fascinating. It is crucial for holding your muscles in their proper place inside your body. But again, fascia (itself) could be holding back your muscle growth.
Let’s think about your muscles for a second. You feed them and take care of them by working out so that you can achieve quality muscle growth, right? But, if they do not have enough room to grow, how will you succeed?
If you want to truly stretch out your fascia and see some crazy muscle growth, be sure to add FST-7 techniques to your training sessions.
A Better Visual and Explanation of Fascia
Here’s an example for you to give you a better visual in your head. You have a small wooden box with a hole in the side. You stick a balloon through the hole and start blowing it up. There will come a point where the balloon is touching all four sides of the box and can no longer get bigger. In this example, the balloon is your muscle, and the wooden box is the fascia. If the fascia isn’t able to be stretched out to help expand muscle growth, well… muscle growth itself simply cannot happen without the space. It makes perfect sense, no?
Fascia is very rigid, so it really doesn’t allow your muscles any room to expand and grow. The size of your muscle will not change no matter how hard you work out or how well you improve your nutrition plan to promote muscle growth, as the connective tissue (fascia) around your muscle will be constricting the muscle within.
One of the best examples would be your calf muscle. The lower leg is constructed of thick fascia because of its heavy weight-bearing duties and everyday tasks (such as walking). It is due to the fascia that many bodybuilders find it challenging to grow muscles. They may have the biggest upper body on stage and still have the smallest calves in a lineup.
Now that we know what the issue is with fascia, what is the solution? Fortunately, stretching is the best solution to this common issue. Granted, just because you stretch your calves does not automatically mean they will grow. There are still several factors that come into play.
Note: It is recommended that you consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program to ensure you are healthy enough to do so and do not have any health concerns that could become intensified through the inclusion of strenuous activity.
Stretching for Muscle Growth – The Importance and Benefits
According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that intense stretching of a specific muscle group post-workout can significantly increase lean muscle mass (the number of muscle fibers) in as little as 28 days.
Below are three incredible benefits that you can achieve through stretching.
1. Gains in Lean Muscle Tissue Growth
Let’s get straight into the facts (the real science) and cut out all the broscience theories floating around out there. Researchers from the University of Tampa concluded that stretching a muscle for about 30 seconds with weight right after reaching failure during a workout could potentially double muscle growth when compared to the control group over a period of five weeks.
Granted, in five weeks, you’re not going from 120 pounds to looking like Arnold, but any and all muscle growth, especially more than what would come from the control group, is still pretty astounding.
Besides that, stretching an isolated muscle such as the biceps or chest increases blood flow, which means an increased amount of muscle-building nutrients can be delivered to the muscle to improve overall recovery of torn down muscle fibers. Additionally, the increased blood flow and ability to get the muscles the nutrients they need quickly post-workout can help reduce muscle soreness as well.
2. Increase Flexibility
One of the most popular reasons why stretching is essential is flexibility and its relation to muscle growth. Regular stretching can help you increase your body’s flexibility. Flexibility does help allow you to perform everyday activities with ease, but it can also help delay the decrease in mobility that generally comes with the aging process.
By stretching your muscles under certain conditions, you are actually stretching your fascia, and that gives the muscles in your body more room to expand. When your muscles are fully pumped and engorged with blood, they press against the fascia. If you stretch hard at that time, you can increase that pressure directly on the fascia, and it can lead to expansion of the fascia, which can eventually lead to greater muscle growth.
3. Eliminate Toxins
Stretching also helps to flush out toxins from the muscle body and lactic acid that produces trigger points that can bind muscle fibers together. The lactic acid and toxins are responsible for preventing your muscles from functioning at their maximum potential.
Athletes use a lot of strategies to decrease toxins, as lactic acid can lead to muscle soreness and cause you to throw in the towel much earlier than you should during your workouts. Strength coaches implement various elements into their cool-down routine to help prevent muscle soreness and focus on muscle growth for their elite athletes.
When you are working towards achieving muscle growth, you are creating tiny pores in the muscles, and that is where lactic acid can build up and create the burning sensation you feel as you progress through a set.
Stretching after a workout helps your body circulate fresh blood, which can feed key nutrients to the taxed and broken-down muscles.
Many trainers also add static stretching for muscle growth or dynamic stretching to prevent any kind of muscle injury and aid in the recovery process.
Besides the benefits mentioned above, there are a few more that showcase why stretching should be a necessary part of your workout routine, such as:
- Stretching can be a great stress reliever and very therapeutic. Focus on body parts where you tend to hold stress, such as the upper back, shoulders, and neck.
- It helps reduce tension and stress headaches.
- Stretching can improve your posture. Muscle imbalances are quite common, and they can lead to poor posture, which may eventually lead to an injury. Stretching for muscle growth and strengthening can reduce musculoskeletal pain and improve proper alignment. That, in turn, can improve your posture.
- Help increase your range of motion.
Want More Muscle?
That’s a pretty silly question. If you weren’t after muscle growth, you probably wouldn’t have come here and read this article. But if you want to take your muscle growth potential to new heights, on top of stretching, you need the right post-workout supplement protocol.
Evogen Nutrition Cell KEM PR is the new gold standard for post-workout recovery and proper supplementation. Cell KEM PR is a post-training creatine and amino builder that helps support proper recovery and aid in the muscle-building process. This carefully formulated post-workout supplement was created by none other than “The Pro Creator” himself, Hany Rambod,
Hany wanted to create a post-workout supplement that did more than the standard whey and amino acid supplements. Therefore, he utilized patented technology from NO3-T® Creatine Nitrate and Sensoril®, along with creatine monohydrate, essential amino acids (EAAs), and critical vitamins and minerals to create the ultimate post-workout product.
If you want to leverage the power of stretching, you might as well provide your muscles with the nutrients they need to enhance muscle growth. And that’s where Evogen Nutrition Cell KEM PR comes into play. Grab a tub and experience the recovery benefits for yourself!