Hurricane Combat and Fitness

The Very Best in Kickboxing, Martial Arts & Fitness Classes 

10 REASONS TO STRETCH

Number 1

Improved Range of Movement

“With regular stretching over time, the number of sarcomeres is thought to increase in series, with new sarcomeres added onto the end of existing myofibrils, which in turn, increases the overall muscle length and range of motion.” (Williams & Goldspink, 1971).


Basically regular and consistent stretching increases the length of our muscles. This lengthening reduces the amount of tension in our muscles and tendons which means they can move further. This extended range of motion results in increased bodily comfort and a greater ability to move more freely.

Number 2

Increased Power

“There is a dangerous stretching myth that says, “if you stretch too much you will lose both joint stability and muscle power.” This is totally untrue (B. Walker, 2007).”


Increasing the length of our muscles through stretching allows them a greater distance over which they can contract and therefore increases our potential power, balance and muscle control.

Number 3

Reduced Post Exercise Muscle Soreness

We have all been there when we smash a training session and push our limits or when we start a new form of training/exercise and the next day - or days in some cases – our muscles are aching and sore. 


Micro-tears, blood pooling and accumulated waste products, such as Lactic Acid, are the consequences of strenuous physical activity and cause this soreness. This soreness can be reduced by making stretching part of your warm down as it will lengthen the individual muscle fibres, boost blood circulation and remove waste products.

Number 4

Reduced Fatigue

For every muscle or muscle group in the body there is an opposite or opposing muscle group. These are labelled agonist and antagonist muscles/muscle groups and they work together to enable movement. For example the Biceps Brachii and Triceps Brachii work together to enable the arm to shorten and lengthen.


When lengthening the arm as in throwing a straight punch, the triceps are contracting (shortening) and the biceps relaxing (lengthening). Increased flexibility of the biceps, in this case, means that the triceps do not have to work exert as much force against the biceps to move the arm and throw the punch. Thus each punch of this kind actually takes less effort to perform.

Number 5

Reduced Chance of Injury

By increasing our range of motion we increase the distance our limbs can move before damage, injury or strain occurs to them and their attached tendons. For example when attempting to kick (whether it is a martial arts, footy or any other kick) there is tremendous strain placed on the muscles and tendons at the back of the leg. 


The more flexible and pliable these muscles and tendons, the greater the distance a person can kick before any damage occurs. This is the same for all limbs, muscles and tendons in the body – correct, consistent and regular stretching improves their range of movement and also reduces the chance of damage injury and strain.

Number 6

Increased Blood Flow and Circulation

Stretching increases tissue temperature which increases the blood-flow and circulation to your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. With this increase blood-flow comes an increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.

Number 7

Improved Relaxation and Stress Relief

Both in the short-term and the long-term stretching is a great way to relax and alleviate stress. When we correctly stretch our muscles we also concentrate on breathing slowly and easily which is a fantastic way to reduce stress. Not only does this improved breathing help circulation and blood-flow but the stretching exercises themselves actually relieve and decrease the amount of tension in the muscles and stress in the body.


In the long-term consistent, regular and correct stretching will increase the length of your muscles and decrease the tension within them which means they are looser, more relaxed and less susceptible to the tightening through stress.

Number 8

Increased Co-Ordination

Regular and consistent stretching increases neuro-muscular coordination. Studies have shown that increased flexibility, through stretching, speeds-up nerve-impulse velocity (the time it takes for an impulse to travel to the brain and back). 


Naturally this helps opposing muscle groups work together more efficiently and thus increases coordination.

Number 9

Increased Bodily Awareness

Spending time stretching (as we have just discovered in Number 8) improves the relationship between the brain and the muscles and joints. 


“This is especially true in lengthened positions as they increase the brains ability to monitor every receptor and reflex involved with muscular coordination and function” (Hallford Health November, 2011).

Number 10

Increased Energy

In the immediate short-term, stretching helps to increase the blood-flow, circulation and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and joints. This reinvigorates them and boosts your energy levels. 


In the long-term it will increase your energy levels by decreasing the amount of tension in your muscles and thus your body. Less tension = less effort to do every-day and physically asserting activities = less fatigue = increased energy levels.