Why You Should NOT Stretch (and what to do instead)
The main problem with conventional stretching programs is that they often work against your body’s physiology rather than with it…
If you take a tight, cold muscle and expose it to prolonged “standard” stretching, you could incur scar tissue and micro-tearing…
Which could then lead to muscle weakness, inflexibility, and injury…
Obviously, that’s not what we want…
One study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that if you stretch before you lift weights, you may be weaker and “off balanced” in your workouts…
NOT a comforting thought…
Especially if you’re someone who lifts weights overhead.
Analyzing 104 Studies Against Typical Stretching
Researchers at the University of Zagre combined hundreds of earlier experiments in which subjects stretched and had their muscular strength and power tested.
And after 104 studies… the numbers were shocking.
Other than general weakness associated with traditional pre-workout stretching, conventional stretching techniques also reduce strength in the stretched muscles by almost 5.5%.
The explosive muscular performance also drops off significantly, by as much as 2.8 %.
In another study, a similar conclusion was reached with the stretched group managing 8.3% less weight on the standard barbell squat.
To put that into perspective, someone who could formerly squat 305lbs now squats 25lbs less because of traditional stretching techniques.
Standard Stretching Is Focused On Flexibility Instead Of Mobility
Let’s get one thing straight; flexibility does NOT equal mobility.
Many people are flexible are still very weak.
The opposite is also true; many people who are strong are extremely stiff.
Both scenarios are recipes for disaster.
We don’t want to be weak, but being strong and stiff is a muscle tear waiting to happen.
Furthermore, if we’re frank… your body is broken.
Years of improper weight training and a lack of proper stretching combined with years of sedentary living have caused your body to become extremely rigid.
Specifically, the fascia that is the connective tissue can become “hardened” after the prolonged sedentary behavior. This ages is the body, limits/decreases muscle mass and skyrockets the likelihood of injury.
Thankfully anabolic stretching can fix all of this and help the body reset itself…
Which is not your gentle, relaxing “yoga” kind of stretching…
Rather, anabolic stretching challenges your body to build both flexibility and strength in the positions you need it most…
By progressively adding weight to your stretches in a proper pattern, you will be building strength into your flexibility and forcing the body to adapt.
Even Arnold used these anabolic stretching secrets during the “golden era”
Now, can we be openly honest for a second?
If we’re completely transparent, stretching is about as much fun as visiting a drunk dentist…
However, unlike visiting that dentist, it’s a necessary component for everyone trying to look, feel and perform their best in and out of the gym.
However, it’s often ignored and brushed off by many as something that’s just not important.
Who has time to sit there and relax?
You could be hitting supersets of bicep curls while balancing on a Bosu ball with one leg instead.
One thing you probably didn’t realize is that stretching, specifically anabolic stretching, can dramatically speed up muscle growth, strength, and recovery.
Which, let’s talk more about that, shall we?
Here Are Eight Ways Anabolic Stretching Can Bring Your Body To The Next Level
1 – It Flips The Muscle Building Switch To “ON”
Anabolic stretching activates mTOR by focusing on placing a muscle under load in the stretched position and accentuated eccentrics…
The more mTOR that’s activated, the greater protein synthesis is and the more muscle that can be built.
2. It Creates An Occlusion Effect
Anabolic stretching will create an oxygen-deprived environment in the stretched muscle.
As a result, lactate will build up initiating the release of super anabolic, IGF-1 inside the muscle to assist with hypertrophy gains.
3. It Increases IGF-1 Sensitivity
More IGF-1 is not better if your body isn’t responding well to it.
By following the proper anabolic stretching routine you will increase the sensitivity of the IGF-1 receptors dramatically; making the anabolic response even greater.
4. It Causes Intramuscular Hyperemia
After you release the anabolic stretch, there will be a surge of blood flow into the muscles.
This phenomenon is known as intramuscular hyperemia…
If your blood contains adequate nutrients via proper post, peri, and pre-workout nutrition, you’ll dramatically increase the facilitation of muscle recovery and growth.
5. It Fatigues The Muscles, Stimulating More Growth And Power
Since you’re using the muscles to perform the anabolic stretch, you’ll start to fatigue them from the intensity of the stretch.
Fatiguing a muscle is a direct precursor to stimulating muscle growth.
6. Anabolic Stretching Builds Flexible Strength
Flexibility does NOT equal mobility.
Many strong athletes are rigid, and many flexible users are weak.
However, with an anabolic stretching routine you’ll build strength while becoming more flexible.
Furthermore, unlike standard stretching, you’ll not only improve the parallel elastic component (PEC) of the muscle, but also the series elastic components (SEC).
Anabolic stretching improves dynamic mobility and is much more transferable to movement performance.
7. Anabolic Stretching Bulletproofs Your Muscles From Tearing
Tears and pulls happen when a muscle is violently stretched…
Following anabolic stretching protocols will help prepare the muscle to deal with something like this, making it almost bulletproof to injury.
8. Anabolic Stretching Strengthens Your Tendons
The majority of lifters hit a plateau and can’t get stronger because their tendons are weak.
Anabolic stretching techniques thicken tendons to overcome this problem.
Thicker tendons also allow for more strength gains and as a result, more muscle to be built.
The Big Idea is to hold a moderate weight in the fully stretched position of an exercise for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds.
An example would be holding a dumbbell flye in the bottom position to target the chest.
Gymnasts use their own bodyweight (which we will too).
Loaded Versus Tensed Stretching
Here’s the key that many people miss with this technique, though…
You can’t just passively maintain the stretch…
That will work to some extent, but if you want REAL results from this method, you have to “resist” and “tense” the stretch.
For example, take dumbbell flyes.
Come down slowly into the bottom peak stretch, hold for a brief moment, then COME BACK UP just slightly to get some active tension on the muscle.
Once you’re there, keep activating the pecs as though you’re trying to perform the flye…just don’t exert enough force to actually DO the flye, if that makes sense.
As the muscle tires from tensing, you will fall deeper into the stretched position.
This is where the magic happens…
The key thing is that you’re not really “stretching” like in the way you do with most static stretching…you’re resisting the load in the stretched position.
There is a big difference. And you will feel this difference the first time you try it.
And there you have it… stretching mistakes to avoid and stretching tactics to make you a muscle-growing machine.
As a side note to this article…
If you want to take your results to the next level and supercharge your testosterone and muscle growth by 318%, you can pick up the Anabolic Stretching Program Here.