If I am trying to gain muscle, do I need to stretch after a workout?

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For maximal hypertrophy, you will use SMR or foam rolling and active stretching. 5-10 reps, 1-2 sets, will 2-4 second holds.

Remember when training for hypertrophy your focus is on high levels of volume with minimal rest periods for force cellular changes that result in overall increase in muscle size. Light days will consist of 20-24 sets, moderate days: 24-30 sets and heavy days: 30-36 sets.

According to the acute variables required for muscular hypertrophy (getting bigger), stretching is not on this list. Muscle gain is generally defined the combination of several variables which include intensity, repetitions, tempo, sets, rest, frequency, duration, and nutrition. Research and texts do not mention stretching as a variable that will help increase muscle size. However, I would like to make a case for it! Limited flexibility can lead to muscle imbalances, altered muscular recruitment patterns, poor joint movements, increased scar tissue and adhesions, leading to a decrease in strength. All of these possible phenomenons can certainly limit muscular growth.  They can also lead to injury which is the one sure way to keep you from reaching your size goals.

Absolutely. Static stretching after a workout is important to obtain the best results. Static stretching is when you take a muscle to the first point of tension and hold it there for at least 30 seconds. When muscles are worked, they shorten; the stretching afterwards will help to return the muscles to their resting state and allow the body in general to return to a resting state. All of these factors will help to reduce the chance of injury and developing movement imbalances.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.