Also stretch the muscles of your inner thighs—the adductor muscles—to prevent muscle pulls in your groin. A gentle stretch relaxes the muscles, letting them release and grow longer. Stretching exercises can help you maintain a good range of motion and balance. According to the American Council on Exercise, stretching is an integral component of fitness and should be a part of any workout program. Stretching does not need to be time consuming. Additionally, countless people suffer from lower back pain. Even though toxins and lactic acid can accumulate in your muscles, they are different types of substances, and are not affected by stretching in the same way. These muscles are very important ones that you use all the time in your everyday movement. Relax again into the stretch, this time using your quads to help “pull” your leg even closer to your chest and deepen the stretch. The amount of time spent holding stretches depends on how sore you are and which muscles you want to focus on specifically. Stretches should be held for about 15-60 seconds and repeated three or four times. But too intense a stretch can actually create an inflammatory response, Apostolopoulos warns, meaning your body is trying to repair damage. These stretches can help relieve tightness in the front of your thigh. Both of these benefits help improve posture and can reduce your risk of injury from falling. It's not proven to help prevent injury, curb muscle soreness after exercise, or improve your performance. One is the muscle starts to relax and the second is the muscle increases in length (elongates). Stretching the muscles of the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture. Stand up straight and tall. When a muscle is stretched (and held for 30 seconds) two basic things happen in that muscle. Overstretching is a no, no. Additionally, scientific research indicates that stretching encourages muscle growth. The act of stretching elongates muscles and increases the body’s range of motion. Take your right leg and use your hand to hold your foot at your butt. Yes, stretching can help you tone-up assuming you follow your stretches with strengthening exercises. This increase in flow brings with it a greater nutrient supply to muscles, thereby reducing muscle soreness and helping to speed recovery from muscle and joint injuries. Static stretching before exercise can weaken performance, such as sprint speed, in studies. Stretch your thigh muscles. Hold for 30 seconds. “Any time you cause pain, you actually cause tissue damage,” he says. Stiff muscles from lack of use or lack of stretching after a workout can be remedied by performing simple stretching exercises every day. Push the hip on the side you are stretching forward. 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