Stretching is recommended and is important to stretch after a post-workout because muscles get tight. Stretching will help facilitate recovery and stimulate blood flow to bring oxygen to your muscles, which will optimally help build muscles.
Stretching will speed up recovery by repairing damaged muscle fibers from exercising. It helps stimulates parasympathetic nervous system activity, which is also termed “rest and digest’’, which is your internal signal to relax.
Stretching will help with D.O.M.S (delayed onset muscle soreness) the more you do it. One of the main goals of stretching is to increase your range of motion at joints, by improving the elasticity or the ability of your muscles to elongate.
There are many benefits of this improved range of motion. These improvements are and not limited to allowing your body to move better around joints, optimizing your muscle fiber activation, help with injuries and ultimately making you feel better internally while performing daily activities.
For example, if a muscle is tight after a workout, you may not be able to get full range of motion. Over time, if you leave these muscles unattended, they can become over worked or tight. At this point, it will be difficult for complete muscle fiber recruitment as you may be missing out on end range muscle activation.
Therefore, in a muscle hypertrophy setting or for daily activity, we can optimize our muscle recruitment and activation to ultimately making activities more efficient and optimal. There are many other benefits of stretching outside of muscle physiology such as your overall wellbeing, mental health and relaxation.