Stretching Techniques for Your Bodybuilding Routine

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Stretching is one of the most important parts of any fitness routine, and is a critical element of a bodybuilding or strength training program because it prepares your muscles for the workout and reduces the risk of injury. If your goal includes perfecting your technique and exercising good form — a complete stretching will help you move on the right track.

The warming up part of your stretching routine helps in the supply of oxygen and blood to your joints and muscles. A warm up routine can be as simple as  a fast-paced walk, jumping rope or completing a 5-10 minute session on the stationary bike. This is meant to activate pumping of blood in your entire body and speeding up your heart rate.

Then, you need your joints to be prepared through a set of movements in a way that will make your muscles flexible enough. The author of the book Getting Stronger, Bill Pearl, explains how it helps to prevent the self from injuries by preparing the joints before engaging in a workout through stretching.To lessen the body’s soreness after lifting and stress on the muscles, it is also necessary to do stretching.

When you begin the stretching routine, you’ll need to stretch only until you feel slight tension in the muscle group and will need to hold this stance for at least 15-20 seconds.For a few seconds, loosen up and then proceed by pushing a little further for about 15 to 20 seconds. Take in fresh supply of oxygen at each step and see to it that you inhale and exhale thoroughly at each push.

Protect your muscles and joints by ensuring that you are not bouncing your muscles as you perform the routine.A common misconception among beginning bodybuilders is the belief that it may be safe to bounce or jerk the muscles during stretches. If you’re stretching for an intensive weight training routine, you’ll need to complete longer stretching workouts and make sure you are focused on increasing flexibility. Bodybuilders and weight lifters become especially flexible and limber because of the continuous stretching practice.You may be able to perform your exercises with better control and good form as you enhance your flexibility and by increasing the intensity and resistance, you may have better returns of muscle gains.

Injuries may be prevented and you can make the most out of your core muscle groups when you know how to keep the right stance in your stretching exercises.Prevent yourself from injuries by using appropriate workout gears like shoes or boots as they can help you achieve balance and maintain the straight posture of your neck and body in each routine.  You’ll also want to tuck in your abdominal muscles to support your spine.Although mastering these movements takes time, it will help you significantly when you aim to practice consistently all the basic routines in stretching.

Lastly, never forget to breathe! With adequate supply of oxygen in the body, you can sustain your energy throughout your workout and and may be able to do each movement well.Inhale deeply at the beginning of your stretch, then hold your breath as you do the ‘push’, and exhale as you move to the next one.

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