What happens to your muscles when you stretch?

Stretching—the mysterious art! It’s like pampering your muscles with calming music and cucumber slices for their eyes. Stretching wakes up your muscles, saying, “Hey, sleepyheads!” Time

Nancy Tran


Photo by Anastasia Hisel on Unsplash

Muscle stretching may result in a wide range of changes, most occurring in the muscle fibres and the connective tissues surrounding them. Stretching can affect your muscles in the following ways:

Muscle length may be increased with consistent stretching. This happens via creep, in which muscle and connective tissues gradually extend in response to a protracted stretch due to their viscoelastic nature. Because of this, stretching regularly can increase mobility and flexibility.

Muscle stiffness can be alleviated with regular stretching. Reduced mobility and an increased propensity for injury are consequences of muscular stiffness. Regular stretching is essential for preserving muscular flexibility and range of motion.

The blood supply to the muscles is enhanced as a result of stretching. Increased oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the muscles through enhanced circulation, promoting faster healing and better overall health.

Improvements in proprioception (the sense of where one’s body is in space) and muscular coordination can result from regular stretching. Doing so can help you become more stable and in control of your body.

Gentle stretching, such as that used in yoga or relaxation activities, can cause the body to produce endorphins, which have a calming and stress-relieving effect. This has the potential to relieve stress and calm the mind.

By keeping muscles and joints at their optimal length and flexibility, injuries can be avoided with regular stretching. Tight muscles increase the likelihood of strains and injuries because they force the body to overcompensate and cause imbalances.

Stretching after exercise can aid muscle healing by decreasing muscular soreness and increasing blood flow. It helps flush out the toxins that build up during physical activity.