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Stretching Exercises
By: John Gibb

Stretching exercises are important before you begin your workout. Always remember to stretch before and after your workout. Stretching exercises also give you health and fitness by making you more flexible.

This helps you in all sorts of exercises, even running, you will find stretching the leg muscles daily will give you better performance at fitness exercises such as running.

Remember for optimal health and fitness always perform stretches, as we mature we become more and more less flexible, this is why it is good to stretch daily.

Stretching exercises for health and fitness are very easy to perform. The normal ones for legs such as touching the toes and hamstring stretches are your most common stretches. For arms you can do anything from arm twists. For your upper body a great stretching exercise is to perform twists side to side with a weightless barbell behind your neck.

If you are are pursuing martial arts or want excellent flexibility in the legs then you can perform the splits each day, take it very easy when doing this if you are new to exercise, pushing your self could result in severe pain, and in some cases, even damage.

Visit http://www.weight-lifting-4u.com for further information.

About The Author

John Gibb is the webmaster of several websites. http://www.weight-lifting-4u.com is his latest addition.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape

 

Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.


Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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