Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

How Stretching Can Explode Your Muscle Growth


When you think about gaining muscle, stretching is probably not the first thing that pops into your head. But did you know that stretching plays a critical role in building muscle?

Every muscle in your body is enclosed in a bag of tough connective tissue known as fascia. Fascia is important for holding your muscles in their proper place in your body.

But your fascia may also be holding back your muscle growth. Think for a moment about your muscles. You train them and feed them properly. They want to grow and will grow but something is holding them back. They have no room to grow!

Because fascia is so tough, it doesn't allow the muscle room to expand. It is like stuffing a large pillow into a small pillowcase. The size of the muscle won't change regardless of how hard you train or how well you eat because the connective tissue around your muscles is constricting the muscles within.

The best example of this is the calf muscle. The lower leg is riddled with fascia because of its tremendous weight-bearing duties in the body. It is because of this fascia that many trainers have great difficulty developing their calves.

The solution: stretching.

Using the pillowcase example from above, imagine you can expand the size of the pillowcase by stretching it. Suddenly, the pillow within has more room and will expand to fill that new space.

By stretching your muscles under specific conditions, you can actually stretch your fascia and give your muscles more room to grow.

The key to effective fascial stretching is the pump. The best time to stretch to expand the bags that are holding in your muscles is when your muscles are pumped up full of blood.

When your muscles are fully pumped up, they are pressing against the fascia. By stretching hard at that time, you increase that pressure on the fascia greatly, which can lead to expansion of the fascia.

One of the major reasons Arnold Schwarzenegger had such incredible chest development was that he finished his chest workouts with dumbell flyes, an exercise that emphasizes the stretched position of the pectoral muscles. He would pump his chest up full of blood during the workout then do flyes, holding the stretch at the bottom of the flye. This gave his chest room to grow to amazing proportions.

Fascial stretching is more rigorous than regular stretching but the results can be amazing. When you stretch hard enough to cause the fascia to expand, you will really feel it! When you are stretching the fascia, you should feel a powerful pulling sensation and pressure as the muscle works against the fascia to expand it.

Be sure you do not stretch so hard that you cause the muscle to tear or cause injury to yourself. You will rapidly learn to distinguish the difference between a good stretch and a bad stretch. You should not feel any sharp pain, just a steady pull.

Hold each stretch for at least 20 to 30 seconds as you must give your fascia time to be affected by the stretch. Stretch hard like this only when you have a fully pumped muscle as you must give your fascia a reason to expand. If your muscles aren't pumped, just stretch normally.

You can find instructions for stretching at: http://www.fitstep.com/Library/Info/Stretching1.htm

One set of hard stretching after each set you do for a muscle group, besides the obvious benefits of increased flexibility, can have an incredible effect on the size of your muscles and their further ability to grow.

About The Author

Nick Nilsson is Vice President of BetterU, Inc., an online exercise, fitness, and personal training company. Check out his latest eBook "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of" at http://www.thebestexercises.com or visit http://www.fitstep.com. You can contact him at betteru@fitstep.com or subscribe to BetterU News, his fitness newsletter at betterunews@fitstep.com.


MORE RESOURCES:

How Getting a 'Muscle Pump' Helps Athletes Build Muscle
STACK News
If your goal is to build muscle, then absolutely. The pump is an essential aspect of any hypertrophy training phase. However, we want to reiterate that as an athlete, building muscle is only a part of your overall training program and should not be ...



Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick
STACK News
3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time. Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick. Strength · Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick · Palm a Basketball With This Grip-Strengthening Workout.

and more »


4 Ways to Build Muscle as You Age
The Epoch Times
One of my older buddies, a 74-year-old, fitness-conscious fellow, when asked how he's doing, often responds, β€œI'm keeping it tight,” which always gives people a laugh. Amusing as it is to hear the phrase coming out of a septuagenarian's mouth, his goal ...



Mexican youths build muscle strength to resist a life of violence
Fusion
Thousands of Central American children are heading north to the United States, desperately trying to flee gang violence, murder, rape and hopelessness. But in the violent birthplace of Mexico's most notorious drug cartel, some children are developing ...



One Green Planet

How to Build Muscle Slowly With Your Plant-Based Food Choices
One Green Planet
There is plenty of evidence that a vegan diet actually promotes lean muscle mass and muscular growth. Nevertheless, there are some strategies you can use to build muscle slowly over time, boost your metabolism, and keep you in shape all year long.



New health book helps men shed fat, build muscle, increase testosterone
KABC-TV
'Refuel' program could help men shed fat, build muscle. The so-called 'Refuel' program could help men shed fat, build muscle and increase testosterone. Embed. <iframe width="476" height="270" src="http://abc7.com/video/embed/?pid=230512" ...

and more »


What are the benefits of protein powder, and should you take it?
Cosmopolitan UK
If you're a fitness fan, you probably already know all about the benefits of protein. But if you don't, here you go: protein helps you build muscle, which not only makes you look toned, but also boosts your metabolism which can help you slim down (if ...

and more »


Success Stories: TaoShoes is changing the culture of footwear in America
taosnews
β€œWith zero-compression, you allow the foot to be free and to build muscle strength as you age. That muscle strength is the definition of foot health.” The Goodharts know that few American medical practitioners have embraced these concepts, but the ...



New Zimbabwe.com

Dr Chireka: Let's talk about infertility
New Zimbabwe.com
Anabolic steroids – often used illegally to build muscle and improve athletic performance. Long-term use or abuse of anabolic steroids can reduce sperm count and sperm mobility. Chemotherapy – medicines used in chemotherapy can sometimes severely ...



6 ways you may be sabotaging your workout
News10.net
Also, the growth hormones that help build muscle work most efficiently while we rest. Not eating enough. You may say to yourself, 'I want to lose weight,' but really, you want to lose fat and gain muscle because you want to be firm and tone. "You have ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.