Stretching for New Muscle

To most guys, stretching is about the unmanliest thing you can do in a gym next to joining an aerobics class. Many guys either rush through it at the end of their workout or skip it entirely (me included). I hate stretching, hate it! After an hour training the last thing I want to do is spend another 15 mins stretching – lets face it, its boring as hell. But neglecting it can lead to big problems, which is why over the past few weeks I’ve added some loaded stretching to my workouts. It doesn’t feel like a waste of time because I’m doing it during my workout and I am actually getting an amazing pump from it.

So what is loaded stretching?

It’s as simple as holding the stretched position of an exercise under load. It’s not your typical touch-your-toes-and-hold-it kind of stretching (called static stretching). Instead, you will use weights, and sometimes your own body weight, to achieve an extra-deep stretch, and then follow it up with a lift. Each rep you’ll slowly reach a position that is more and more stretched. The result will be looser muscles that can support more muscle growth!

How does loaded stretching build muscle?

The purpose of loaded stretching is to expand the sheath (called fascia) of connective tissue that lines your muscles, thereby making more room for them to grow. Loaded stretching also strengthens your tendons and can help heal niggly injuries like tendinitis. Many people reach strength gain plateaus because their tendons are weak. My favourite part – you get a great pump. Loaded stretching causes blood to fill the muscles. After you release the stretch there will be a surge of blood flow into the muscles and if your workout nutrition is on point that blood will be loaded with muscle building nutrients.