Stretching is an exercise designed to extend the limbs and muscles to their full extent. When you stretch, you expand your muscles and limbs by lengthening or widening. Stretching is essential to overall Fitness.
One of the major benefits of stretching is that it increases your flexibility. Regular stretching can help retain your flexibility and a good range of motion when you grow old, not only for exercising but for your daily activities as well. Flexibility exercises, such as bending and twisting movements cut the risk of injury from strenuous exercise and lessen muscle soreness. Stretching also has postural benefits. Even so, the key to a healthy and natural posture is a balance of strength and flexibility between opposing muscle groups.
The Two Basic Types of Stretches – the Ballistic Stretch and the Static Stretch – are essential in your Warm-up and Cool-down Routine. While stretching may appear a bit bland as compared with resistance exercises such as Free Weights and Weight Training exercises, without a good stretch, all your hard work at the gym will not be complete.
Although it seems easier to get into the habit of stretching some muscle groups than others, it is important to stretch all major muscle groups. Besides a general stretch of major muscle groups, stretch the specific muscles required for your sport or Fitness Activity to avoid unnecessary injuries.