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 to Get Fit Like a Marine
STACK News
With all the hard work you're grinding out in the weight room, you'd better learn how to build muscle in the kitchen with a proper diet. Check out the video player above to see an example of what your plate should look like if you're trying to build ...



The Easy Road. There isn't one
Timesonline.com
If your goal is build muscle, become leaner and lose body fat running several miles day after day is not suggested approach. You will in fact become a better long distance runner and nothing is wrong with that. Not fully understanding what you are ...



Macro versus micro nutrients
Hesperia Star
I find that most of the info out there is about nutrition optimization for athletes, bodybuilders and fitness competitors rather than actionable information for the regular Joe and Jane who want to lose weight, build muscle and feel better. COMMON GROUND.

and more »


A women's-only gym is taking cues from Jillian Michaels
WYFF Greenville
Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels is a cutting-edge no-nonsense Curves Circuit workout designed to build muscle and boost cardiovascular conditioning while targeting all major muscle groups. Michaels' innovative series is intentionally customizable ...



6 Moves You Can Do With A Foam Roller (Besides Stretching!)
Bustle
You see it sitting in the corner at the gym, your friends swears by it, but how do you actually use it? Besides rolling over it to work out kinks and sooth sore muscles, you can actually use the foam roller as a great tool to build muscle. To find out ...



Health Column: Hormones that take off the pounds
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Androgen hormones such as testosterone and DHEA build muscle and break down fat. They directly turn on DNA to make protein and build structure such as muscle and bone. They also “kick-start” enzymes that break down fat. The fat accumulation around ...



Should I cut back on weight training to lose pounds?
Cape Gazette
Supposedly completing cardiovascular exercise only burns calories for short periods of time, but if you have extra weight to lose is there a chance that you will build muscle on top of fat? I generally lift three times a week and do some form of cardio ...

and more »


5 top tips to get fit in 2015
Tampabay.com
The best way to build muscle is to pump iron — and you may not need much of it to help you tone and build muscle. While some people like to lift weights while watching television, Hudson recommends finding a quiet place where you can focus on form.

and more »


Virtual welder saves metal, money at CCC
Daily Astorian
Afterward, the welder gets a score outlining all their strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, Fulton can also monitor how the student is welding, where they're standing, how they're holding the gun. While it helps build muscle memory and basic techniques ...



Porterville Recorder

'Tid-Bits' of Health
Porterville Recorder
Yes, hormones are messages that say things like, “burn fat” (that hormone is called Leptin), or “burn sugar” (that hormone is insulin), or “build muscle” (testosterone gives that command in both males and females). The hypothalamus needs a lot of ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.