Best Types of Stretches for Mass Gains
Mike Jackson is nutritional consultant as well as a freelance writer in the field of health and fitness. He specializes physique transformation and contest preparation for all levels of competitor. Mike is currently based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The American Council on Exercise claims that stretching is an integral part of fitness and should be added to all workout routines. Stretching is known to help in elongating the various muscles that are used.
It also helps to increase the body’s range of motion while encouraging muscles to grow and gain mass. Those who take advantage of stretching before an exercise routine typically decrease their risk of obtaining an injury while making their exercise practices a little bit easier.
Because there are many different types of stretches, it is important to ensure you are taking advantage of the correct stretches at the right times to get the best muscle mass gain results.
Types of Stretching
Stretching falls into two different categories. This includes static stretching and dynamic stretching. Static is a type of stretching done while the body is at rest. Dynamic stretching is when a muscle is moved in and out of a stretched position at a rapid rate.
While many individuals feel as though it is beneficial to perform static stretches before lifting weights for the most muscle gain, most experts believe this is a mistake.
Stretching the wrong muscles at the wrong time can hinder the muscle mass growth process and potentially cause muscle pulls and strains. Doug Lawrenson from Muscle and Strength Magazine divides stretching into 7 different categories.
He states ballistic stretching should not be used as this is when you bounce in and out of a stretch, which is not beneficial towards muscle growth. Isometric and PNF stretching use a series of contractions while stretching to encourage maximum muscle growth results.
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Expert Studies on Stretching
In one study completed in 1993 by the “Journal of Applied Physiology”, it was discovered stretching does in fact assist in the muscle growth process. The study was performed by J. Antonio and W. J. Gonyea.
Rather than using humans in this study, quails were used to determine the effects stretching has on various muscles. The wings of more than 25 quails had their wings stretched for 38 days with different sized weights depending on their body weight.
When the experiment was completed, it revealed that the quails that had their wings stretched had an increase of up to 318 percent in muscle mass when compared to those who did not have their wings stretched.
The Correct Stretching Methods for Mass Gain
One example of a stretching method said to be beneficial in increasing mass gain is to grab the ball of the foot with one hand and attempt to straighten out the ankle by stretching out the calf muscle. This is known as an isometric stretch.
PNF stretches are similar to isometric stretches but incorporate resistance against a stationary object while stretching. For example, one individual can lie on their back while their partner places their shoulder underneath the knee. They should then push your leg towards your chest.
The stretcher should then flex their hamstring, pushing against the resistance that their partner is providing them with. A relaxing period should then be taken advantage of, followed by an additional stretch with the depth of the stretch increased.
These types of stretches reduce tension within the muscles. Muscles that have tension in them typically do not grow as quickly as those that have been stretched.
Stretching with these methods in mind also helps to increase the overall flexibility and motion range of the muscles.
This means less energy will be required while exerting yourself during an exercise routine. In addition, stretching helps in improving blood flow within the body. When blood flows to the muscles it helps to provide them with the essential nutrients they need to thrive.
When to Stretch
For the best results in muscle mass gain, stretching should be completed both before and after every workout routine. These are called warm-up and cool-down periods. These stretching periods should range from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on the results desired and the intensity of the workout.
Each stretch completed should be held for at least 15 seconds after the maximum stretched point is reached. Failing to stretch before and after a workout can lead to potential injuries and hinder your mass gain success.
eSupplements Article Recap
- There are 2 types of stretching: static & dynamic.
- Static stretching is stretching muscles to an elongated position and holding. Dynamic stretching is moving the muscle in a similar motion as the exercise.
- When lifting weights, do dynamic stretches, not static. Static stretches may hinder muscle mass growth.
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-  Eric Broser. “Stretch for Muscle Growth Success” WebMD.
-  Ryan Haas. “Hypertrophy and proliferation of skeletal muscle fibers from aged quail.”
-  Carson JA, Yamaguchi M, Alway SE. “Does Stretching Help Muscle Growth?”