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#378723 - 01/14/08 04:52 PM stretching after workout
ilrb2 Offline

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 8
i have a friend who never stretches after working out. he thinks that stretching his muscles will make them leaner and they won't look as big. i try to tell him otherwise but to no avail. i was hoping someone could tell me the exact benefits of stretching after a workout so i can approach him with a stronger arguement than "it's bad to not stretch and you can hurt yourself."

#378724 - 01/14/08 07:48 PM Re: stretching after workout [Re: ilrb2]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA

"After you have used weights (or other means) to overload and fatigue your muscles, your muscles retain a "pump" and are shortened somewhat. This "shortening" is due mostly to the repetition of intense muscle activity that often only takes the muscle through part of its full range of motion. This "pump" makes the muscle appear bigger. The "pumped" muscle is also full of lactic acid and other by-products from exhaustive exercise. If the muscle is not stretched afterward, it will retain this decreased range of motion (it sort of "forgets" how to make itself as long as it could) and the buildup of lactic acid will cause post-exercise soreness. Static stretching of the "pumped" muscle helps it to become "looser", and to "remember" its full range of movement. It also helps to remove lactic acid and other waste-products from the muscle. While it is true that stretching the "pumped" muscle will make it appear visibly smaller, it does not decrease the muscle's size or inhibit muscle growth. It merely reduces the "tightness" (contraction) of the muscles so that they do not "bulge" as much.

Also, strenuous workouts will often cause damage to the muscle's connective tissue. The tissue heals in 1 to 2 days but it is believed that the tissues heal at a shorter length (decreasing muscular development as well as flexibility). To prevent the tissues from healing at a shorter length, physiologists recommend static stretching after strength workouts."
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#378725 - 01/16/08 09:38 AM Re: stretching after workout [Re: MattJ]
shills11 Offline

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Glasgow Scotland
If you hit him with what Matt just said above then i'm pretty sure that will shut your friend up.
Its not about how hard you hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward

#378726 - 01/19/08 07:25 AM Re: stretching after workout [Re: ilrb2]
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
Just let him get on with it.

You've said you piece, if he doesn't listen - who cares?

#378727 - 01/19/08 02:11 PM Benefits of stretching after a workout [Re: UKfightfreak]
JAMJTX Offline

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
You should always do atleast light stretching before working out, this will help with the prevention of injuries. But it does not necessarily help you become limber. What will make you limber is stretching after the workout.

First, always break a sweat before you stretch. Even for pre-workout stretching. Don't stretch cold muscles.

When you work out the muscles expand from the heat that is generated. As you start to cool down, the muscles constrict. Which is why you feel tight afterwards.

If you stretch after the workout, before the muscls re-constrict, they don't constrict nearly as much. You'll avoid atleast most of the soreness and stiffness that can come from a hard work out.

And, as mentioned, you become limber over the long run not just by stretching the muscle, but by not letting them constrict so much.

It sounds like your friend has clung to someone's "old wive's tale" with regards to strecting. I never heard that before and it is incorrect. But you may not be able to change his mind.

#378728 - 01/24/08 09:14 PM Re: Benefits of stretching after a workout [Re: JAMJTX]
ilrb2 Offline

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 8
wow, i didn't think this thread would keep going. anyway, i wanted to get him to stop so he wouldn't hurt himself, i wasn't trying to "shut him up." i guess it's just what he believed. i just memorized that first reply and it got him to stop when i told him. thanks guys.

#378729 - 01/27/08 03:21 PM Re: stretching after workout [Re: ilrb2]
fileboy2002 Offline

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
Tell your friend that stretching will make his muscles look bigger. Muscles break down as a result of lactic acid build up; afterwards, they heal, which is what causes them to increase in size over time. Stetching helps move lactic acid through the muscles and speeds up muscular growth.


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