Get strong, stay flexible

I play baseball, and I want to get strong but stay flexible. Many people who build muscle seem to be less limber. How can I increase my muscle mass without losing flexibility?

Building muscle is not going to make you less flexible as long as you stretch. Many of us are guilty of not stretching enough, and that’s the most likely reason the people that you’ve seen have lost flexibility.

Also, even if you’re not trying to build muscle, you become less limber as you get older. But that doesn’t have to happen as long as you stretch.

The best way to build muscle and get stronger is by weight training two to three times a week. After you’re done lifting (or doing any type of exercise), make sure you stretch. Another option that I like is to stretch in between exercises while I take a break. To get the most out of your stretching, follow these tips:

  • Don’t bounce. 
  • Do stretches slowly. 
  • Only stretch to the point of mild discomfort. 
  • Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. 
  • Do each stretch four times.In addition to stretching, it is important that you strengthen opposing muscle groups such as the hamstrings and quadriceps in the back and front of your thighs, the biceps and triceps in the front and back of your upper arms, the chest and upper back muscles, and the abs and lower back muscles. If you only strengthen one of the muscles, you can create an imbalance which can decrease your flexibility and put you at more risk for injuries.

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