Eli5: Why do we need to stretch our muscles after doing any form of physical activity or exercise?

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Eli5: Why do we need to stretch our muscles after doing any form of physical activity or exercise?

In: Biology
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do we need to? i def don’t stretch before or after exercise….i guess i should. lol

Stretching prepares your body fora workout because it makes your muscles more pliable whereas they would’ve been tight. The pliability reduces the risk of injury like tearing a muscle or whatever and also increases your range of motion in your joints. Also it helps to get rid of lactic acid build up which makes you sore but I don’t know the science behind it.

**The long answer:**

When you damage sarcomeres during use, the body reacts by making new ones to compensate. Think of it as scar tissue within your muscles. When created the actin filaments within doesn’t always line up 100% with the direction of all the other actin filaments in the sarcomere.

The more a filament is off the ideal angle , the more ATP is wasted due to the actin/myosin causing a more or less diagonal pull instead of pulling straight along the axis of the surrounding muscle fibers. You know, basic classical mechanics. Vectors and shit.

These conflicting directions in your muscle fibers are undesirable when you want the muscle to be as efficient of as possible.

So we stretch the sarcomeres to make the actin filaments slide so far along each other, that they reach the end of their counterpart. Let’s call it elasticity. This pulls the misaligned filaments more into the axis along which the majority of the other actin filaments lie, because when the elasticity is gone deformation begins.

Better aligned muscle fibers equals better efficiency.

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**The short answer:**

Gains, bro!