If you’re strug­gling to pump up your physique in the weights room, re­viv­ing an old body­builders’ trick could help you reach your fully in­flated po­ten­tial

Men's Health (UK) - - In This Issue -

Why a bit of stretch­ing can ex­pand your mus­cle growth by 300%. No yoga re­quired

We’re not of­ten ad­vo­cates of Bro Science, but some­times the weights-bench wor­ship­pers stum­ble upon some­thing, well, spec­tac­u­lar. Re­search pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Ap­plied Phys­i­ol­ogy found in­tense stretch­ing af­ter work­ing a mus­cle group has the po­ten­tial to in­crease its mass by 318% in 28 days. Arnie em­ployed the pro­to­col en route to Mr Olympia, and it will prove equally ef­fec­tive on your own jour­ney to a bet­ter body.

For su­per­sized suc­cess you need to lengthen your fas­cia, a fi­brous sheath sur­round­ing your mus­cles. As well as pro­tect­ing your pro­teinous fi­bres, the fas­cia also re­stricts them. Stretch­ing un­locks those shack­les and cre­ates more room for your mus­cles to ex­pand.

Reach for a heavy weight and use it to stretch out af­ter you’ve ex­hausted a mus­cle group. For ex­am­ple, af­ter work­ing your chest, lie back on a bench and slowly lower the dumb­bells to a po­si­tion that max­i­mally stretches out your pec­torals. Hold for 60 sec­onds, block­ing out the pain, and the fas­cia will elon­gate. The same prin­ci­ple ap­plies to seated DB curls for big­ger biceps, DB pullovers to lengthen your lats or gob­let squats to garner max­i­mum growth from legs day.

Whether you’re aspir­ing to fol­low in Arnie’s foot­steps or a lapsed gym-goer look­ing to re­gain your size stat, this is cer­tainly big news.

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