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The Benefits of Stretching

Stretching is a simple and effective activity that helps to enhance athletic performance, decrease the likelihood of injury, and minimize muscle soreness.

The benefits of stretching are:

1. Improved Range of Movement
By placing particular parts of the body in certain positions, we are able to increase the length of our muscles. As a result of this, a reduction in general muscle tension is achieved and our normal range of movement is increased.
The benefits of an extended range of movement include increased comfort, a greater ability to move freely, and a lessening of our susceptibility to muscle and tendon strain injuries.

2. Increased Power
There is a dangerous stretching myth that says, “If you stretch too much you will lose both joint stability and muscle power.” This is untrue by increasing our muscles’ length we are increasing the distance over which they are able to contract. This results in a potential increase to our muscles’ power and therefore increases our athletic ability, while also leading to an improvement in dynamic balance, or the ability to control our muscles.

3. Reduced DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
We have all experienced what happens when we go for a run or to the gym for the first time in a few months. The following day our muscles are tight, sore, and stiff, and it is usually hard to walk. This soreness that usually accompanies strenuous physical activity is often referred to as “DOMS” This soreness is the result of micro-tears, blood pooling, and accumulated waste products, such as lactic acid. Stretching, as part of an effective cool-down, helps to alleviate this soreness by lengthening the individual muscle fibers, increasing blood circulation, and removing waste products.

4. Reduced Fatigue
Fatigue is a major problem for everyone, especially those who exercise: it results in a decrease in both physical and mental performance. Increased flexibility through stretching can help prevent the effects of fatigue by taking pressure off the working muscles

Added Benefits:

Along with the benefits listed above, a regular stretching program will also help to improve posture, develop body awareness, improve coordination, promote circulation, increase energy, and improve relaxation and stress relief.

About the Author:
Kelly Macdonald:

"My passion for the potential in our bodies started from a young age. Having practiced gymnastics from the age of 5, I fell in love with the freedom I found in movement and the incredible things our bodies can do. In 2014, I achieved my lifelong dream of representing New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games, training, traveling, and competing on the world stage".

Kelly is an Auckland-based trainer that teaches both in-person and online through her amazing online courses which you can find on her website.

For one on one inquiries, contact

ig: @kellymacmobility


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