I just uploaded my stretching video on YouTube, but I want to talk about the benefits of stretching and what to avoid.
It improves your flexibility. Most guys don't care to be "flexible", i understand, but it's NOT like that. Flexibility helps improve your athletic performance and it also decreases your risk of injury. Think of it like this - when you have full range of motion, such as running, throwing, & jumping, you perform better. and at the same time, when you exert your energy into doing those movements, you can pull a muscle that isn't used to being stretched in that way. Get it?
It ALSO helps with your exercises - ex: squats - if you can't go low on squats because you lack that range of motion, you don't reap the full benefits of the movement. same with lunges. another example - sit-ups. Decline sit-ups are more effective than sit-ups on a leveled ground. but if your back can't handle the stretch, you're hurting yourself more than you're helping yourself.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN STRETCHING:
1. Make sure your muscles are warmed up before you start stretching. You can improve flexibility more when your muscles are warm too, so I recommend stretching AFTER your workout if you're crunched on time.
2. Stretch the muscles that you used or will be using. There's really no point in stretching your legs if you're doing arms.
3. BREATHE. yes, even when you're stretching, you need to focus on your breathing. deep, relaxed breaths of air can help you calm down so you're not tensing up while stretching.
Now...GO CHECK OUT THE VIDEO :)
Stretching with Alina