A gentle stretch relaxes the muscles, letting them release and grow longer. But too intense a stretch can actually create an inflammatory response, Apostolopoulos warns, meaning your body is trying to repair damage. Stretching to Get Toxins and Lactic Acid From Muscles. According to the American Council on Exercise, stretching is an integral component of fitness and should be a part of any workout program. Stand up straight and tall. Stretching muscles alleviates tension and relaxes muscles which can help reduce stress. It's not proven to help prevent injury, curb muscle soreness after exercise, or improve your performance. These stretches can help relieve tightness in the front of your thigh. Push the hip on the side you are stretching forward. Stretches should be held for about 15-60 seconds and repeated three or four times. Stretching exercises can help you maintain a good range of motion and balance. The act of stretching elongates muscles and increases the body’s range of motion. These muscles are very important ones that you use all the time in your everyday movement. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture. Many muscles contribute to back posture (quadriceps, hamstrings, lower back muscles, and hip flexors) and regularly stretching these muscles may greatly reduce or alleviate lower back pain. Stretching does not need to be time consuming. The amount of time spent holding stretches depends on how sore you are and which muscles you want to focus on specifically. One is the muscle starts to relax and the second is the muscle increases in length (elongates). Both of these benefits help improve posture and can reduce your risk of injury from falling. Stiff muscles from lack of use or lack of stretching after a workout can be remedied by performing simple stretching exercises every day. 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. Stretching your thigh muscles increases the amount of blood that’s flowing into them and loosens up the muscle tissue, preventing strains or tears. Take your right leg and use your hand to hold your foot at your butt. Relax again into the stretch, this time using your quads to help “pull” your leg even closer to your chest and deepen the stretch. Stretch your thigh muscles. Static stretching before exercise can weaken performance, such as sprint speed, in studies. It helps increase blood flow to the muscles. Additionally, countless people suffer from lower back pain. Additionally, scientific research indicates that stretching encourages muscle growth. Yes, stretching can help you tone-up assuming you follow your stretches with strengthening exercises. Stretch at least 2-3 days per week for at least 10 minutes a day. 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