Benefits of stretching are not only limited to the body, but it also has a greater impact on the mind. It is a simple and effective way of targeting stress. Stress can lead to increased muscle tension, affecting how the body moves and works. Tightness along the neck and thoracic area alters your breathing pattern and quality. Poor or altered breathing because of tightness may affect psychological and physiological functions. This makes stretching important not only anatomically but also physiologically and psychologically. It recharges/prepares your mind and body to perform consistently better.
So far we discussed the benefits of stretching. Most of these points are pretty straight forward but few points might appear contradictory or confusing. If stretching helps in relaxation, why would you do it before sports or exercises session? Or how stretching can improve power generation? For the second question, it is easy to understand if you take a rubber, stretch it to it’s max and release, it will generate more force and cover more distance. Same rubber less stretched will generate lesser power. So to generate more power, you need strength but you also need good flexibility.
To understand how stretching helps in relaxation and why it still needs to be done before sports, we need to know different kinds of stretches, their benefits and times of use. This we will cover in our next article.
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