Benefits of stretching, whether you are an elite, professional, or amateur in athletics will have the same result. Stretching will increase range of motion, and flexibility. Stretching elongates and lengthens muscles as well. Adding any type of stretching to a training regimen is a great counterbalance to concentric muscle movements.
With high intensity sports comes a great risk of injury. Enhancing range of motion, flexibility, and lengthening muscles helps in reducing the risk of injury. Some injuries are caused by lack of flexibility, range of motion, and muscle tension. Many athletes suffer from joint problems. A cause of joint problems is tightness in the tendons and ligaments around the joint from shortened muscles pulling on the joint. Stretching is a great component to add to an athletes training. Stretching will help release tension of the muscles and the tissue relieving pain around the joints. Flexibility and enhanced range of motion provide less restriction and more agile muscles helping to prevent future injuries.
Obtaining a consistent stretching routine during an athletes’ career is essential to prevent injuries from occurring or an old injury from reoccurring. Stretching can help heal the athletes at a quicker pace than if they were immobile after playing. The movement and tension release while stretching improves blood circulation and oxygen, which results in healing muscle fiber. If tension is not released from the muscles the tension memory will build, and flexibility and range of motion will begin to decline. To the contrary, stretching can also build muscle memory. Stretching consistently will start to release muscle tension and build muscle memory in increasing flexibility and range of motion.
Lessening tension in the muscles and increasing flexibility will give athletes more fluid movements. The muscles will become less restrictive enhancing power and endurance. The improvements from stretching will make lighter, faster, and stronger movements. Athletes will become more accurate in their movements as their spines start to straighten and flex, and their muscles start to lengthen. Lengthening of the muscle is not referring to just the muscle belly, but also the tendons and ligaments. When tendons and ligaments are strained is when injury takes place. Once the tendons and ligaments are lengthened the muscle as a whole will work to its maximum capacity.
Freeing muscles results in freer movements!