Build the Body Women Want: Stretching

Jason Statham “knocking around” Semmy Schilt in “the Transporter 3“.

How the hell does stretching help you build the body women want?!?

I was going to do an article highlighting the benefits of stretching, but thought I’d bring back a series I was doing a couple weeks ago, which is actually one of the benefits I came up with when I was brainstorming for the original article.

So how exactly is stretching going to help us build our ideal body, or a body that is attractive to the opposite sex?

Stretching as it Relates to a Better Looking Body

Stretching helps with improving posture especially if you’re building muscle, and ladies like guys with good posture. I was surprised to hear many of the girls I talked to in preparation for this series list “good posture” as one of the physical characteristics they look for in a man.

Good posture can mean a flatter stomach, a more confident look and stance as well as fewer injuries. Stretching can help bring your shoulders back if they’re too far forward, keep your stance erect which in turn allows you to stand tall with your head high, literally. You see it all the time in the gym, the jacked guy who’s actually very lean but for some reason his stomach sticks out like he has a gut which can either be a result of steroid use, or tightness in his gluts, hamstrings and hip flexors.

Not only does stretching improve how we look, but also how we perform and our health as well…

Stretching as it Relates to Improved Performance and Better Health

As I said in the first article in, “Building the Body Women Want“,  having a good looking body is one aspect of building that ideal body another aspect is developing a healthy and athletic body. Stretching helps in a huge way with athleticism by improving quickness and power. You can add inches to your vertical by adding a good stretching routine into your training.

Being more flexible can also add length to your stride and allow you to move and react without having to worry about “pulling a muscle” which is a large part of what being an athlete is all about – reacting instead of thinking.

When to Stretch and How

Dynamic before activity and static after.

Dynamic stretching involves movement, like a warm-up that will bring blood to your muscles and prepare them for activity. Static stretching involves no movement and is what we think of as the “classic” stretch.

I don’t stretch before training at all but simply warm up and prepare my muscles for the upcoming workout.. Stretching when you’re “cold” can actually increase the risk of pulling or straining a muscle which is why I’ll keep my stretching to after my training is finished but my muscles are still warm.

Test yourself, see how flexible you are when you’re cold, then go for a run and complete the same stretch, you’ll find that you’re far more flexible and have much more range of motion after you’ve exercised which means your muscles, ligaments and tendons are “primed” for stretching.

How long do I stretch for?

Anywhere from 30 – 60 seconds, performing 2-3 stretches per muscle group. For example do the same hamstring stretch 3 times for 30 seconds alternating legs.

Studies on stretching are hard to find because the benefits are difficult to measure, but the most positive effects are seen around the 30 second mark and begin to tail off after that. You’re still getting benefits around the 60-70 second mark, just not to the same degree as you were in the first 30 seconds which is why a lot of the time trainers, physio’s or doctors will say to just stretch 30 seconds. Either way it’s up to you, but at least get to that 30 second mark for each stretch.

What to Stretch

Lower Body

Calves + hamstrings + hip flexors + glutes + groin + lower back

Upper Body

Lats + chest + triceps + deltoits

Stretch for 10-20 minutes each day you train and feel free to add stretching into your off days as well.

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Are you following a stretching routine?

If not would a video example of a routine be helpful?