When you read this title, you’re probably asking yourself what this guy is talking about. If you are, then this article is for you for sure.
You probably take your workout routine very seriously and do everything it takes to grow your muscle mass. You train hard, eat right, and sleep well to make sure you recover for the next training session.
But you probably don’t think to stretch, right? Stretching is for the ‘yoga freak’ you think. Not at all, my friend！ If you want your muscles to grow as big as you want, you need to incorporate some stretching in your training session. Stretching is essential for building muscles.
Let me explain why.
Every muscle of your body is covered by a tissue called a ‘fascia’. The fascia is like a bag and envelopes your muscles. This tissue is very important because it holds your muscles in the right place in your body.
But the fascia can limit your muscle growth. You muscles try to grow but the fascia stops the process. Do you know why? The muscles have no room to grow. It’s simple.
The fascia is a very tough tissue and does not allow the muscle much room to expand (grow). Take this example; you try to blow a balloon inside of another balloon. When the balloon inside grows and touches the second balloon, it will be hard for you to keep going. No matter how well you train and how great your nutrition is, the fascia will stop your muscles growing.
Stretching is your solution
Using the example of the 2 balloons, imagine if you can stretch the outside balloon first. It will give you more room for the inside balloon to get bigger.
By stretching your muscles, you will at same time stretch the fascia tissues. You will give your muscles some room to grow!
The best time to stretch your muscles and expand the fascia at the same time is when your muscles are pumped – that means they are full of blood. This is the perfect time for stretching because your muscles push against the fascia and try to grow.
For example, finish your chest routine with some incline dumbbells fly. Hold the position at the bottom of the movement for few seconds for a good stretch. This will really stretch the fascia.
Do not stretch when you are cold. You want to stretch when your muscles are warm. I like to stretch between every set. Stretching at the same time as doing your strength training encourages a better blood flow. This is the key for a better ‘pump’ and better muscle growth.
Hold your stretch between 30 to 40 seconds. To be able to stretch your fascia you need to stretch little more than just a regular stretch. But be careful not to pull a muscle. This is why you need to stretch when you are warm, and your body temperature is raised from your warm-up and from your workout.
Don’t forget, for better muscle growth next time you hit the gym, don’t forget to stretch. Try this for a few weeks and you will start to see a big difference in your muscle growth. Yes, stretching is for bodybuilders too!
** Martin Bolduc is the author of the Ultimate Guide to Express Fat Loss and the winner of the Lean Body Challenge 2008. Martin is a Certified Personal Trainer ACE and BCRPA and a natural bodybuilder. Martin helps hundreds of clients to reach their goals. Get Your Special Report on Express Fat Loss