Name a pro athlete that doesn’t take care of their muscles? It’s impossible to play at your full potential without taking care of your muscles. In this article, I will tell you why it is important to take care of your muscles by stretching, and I hope you enjoy it.
Why Stretching is Important
Stretching is a critical practice to add to your daily routine to be on your way to better health as an athlete.
If you want to play to the best of your ability in whatever sport you play, your muscles have to be flexible and not stiff. Stretching is what every athlete needs to do daily to stay healthy and to perform at their highest level of play.
The benefits of stretching are that when you are on that court, field, or mat, you are not in pain, and you can have a full range of motion. When muscles are so tight, it can cause back pain and trust me, it hurts, but if you consistently stretch, you can prevent back pain from developing in the first place. When muscles are weak, it can cause you to land unbalanced, but if your muscles are healthy and not so tight, it will help with your balance.
Stretching can also increase blood flow, but if you don’t, your muscles will get so tense and tight, they will eventually constrict and narrow the passageway for blood flow.
Stretching is good for the muscles and joints, and no one wants pain or soreness when they are playing.
Why Muscles Get Sore
When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to or in a different way, it’s believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness.
Once the muscle is damaged, inflammation ensues, and electrolytes, such as calcium, begin to accumulate. The immune system sends in immune cells called T-cells to infiltrate the sites of damage. Scientists still aren’t sure how these processes come together to cause pain and soreness, but they are likely to come together to trigger both healing and pain.
A Tool I Use To Take Care Of My
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I use a foam roller to work out the stiffness and aches out of my muscles, and it is a great tool that I recommend having if you are an athlete.
How to use a foam roller:
- Pinpoint the sore or tight area of your muscle.
- Control your body as you slowly lower the targeted area, so it’s centered above the roller.
- Lower your body onto the foam roller until you reach a point of discomfort (but not pain) and hold it there.
- Hold for 20–30 seconds.
I also use a lacrosse ball or a tennis ball and roll out the parts that I cannot reach with the foam roller, for example, the muscles in my neck and shoulder. I have to get those smaller muscles too. After all, you want to get all of your muscles rolled out and stretched because if you miss one, it can cause another muscle or joint to hurt even if you roll it out. After all, some muscles are connected.
I have another article called Cryotheraphy Benefits for Athletes which is another tool I use to take care of my body and muscles.
What Would Happen To Your Body If You Stopped
If you stop taking care of your muscles, how do you expect to become the best athlete you can be?
If you stop now, you will start having mobility issues and can move around as fast as other athletes. Your muscles will eventually shorten and become extremely tight, which will result in pain. If your muscles get extremely tight and weak, you won’t be able to extend your muscles to full length.
You are also putting yourself at a significant risk for injury, strains and joint pain. So I advise you not to go this route, or you will not reach your full potential.
A Little History Of Stretching
The Roman Empire used the technique stretching to keep its soldiers in shape, but it wasn’t officially documented until the late 18th century. Isn’t that crazy?
Stuff You Must Know *Disclaimer*
Stretching with cold muscles may result in injury. Stretching is only effective when muscles are warm. It is best to stretch after a small amount of physical activity. Maybe a light jog then start stretching, so your muscles are not cold.
Preventing your muscles from becoming tight and sore, doesn’t happen overnight. You have to continually stretch and do it over time to be able to reach your full potential.
And never stop stretching because if you stop eventually, you will be back to square 1.
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I hope you have a great day!!