These Incredible Illustrations Pefectly Explain Which Muscle You're Stretching

Our muscles only work in one way, they contract and pull on bone to force movement. In exercise, we repeatedly force certain muscles to contract harder or more often than they would regularly. This exertion tears the muscle fibers.

That sounds extreme but the trauma is minute and better than the alternative of the cells just snapping and breaking. As the cells repair the damage, the 'scar tissue' makes the cell bigger and more resilient.

Thanks to Vicky Timón, a yoga expert and author of "Encyclopedia of Pilates Exercises," for creating these beautiful illustrations!

The soreness that is felt from working out is the muscle fibers forgetting how to unwind after contracting so hard. It is also from the buildup of lactic acid that is an unavoidable chemical by product.

Stretching is encouraged at all times. You'll want to make sure that you take the time to stretch before and after workouts. (It only takes a couple of minutes!)

Understanding the muscle groups and how they work together to provide range of motion can help you isolate and prevent problems. The origin points of the muscle tissue are an important thing to keep in mind as you are stretching.

These are the points at which the muscle fibers attach to the bone or connective tissue. Knowing these points will give you better idea of the affected muscle groups and their areas of influence.

Regular stretching will keep your joints healthier and mobile into later ages. Stretching will also provide higher levels of body awareness that can help you avoid injury.

Click here for videos on ways to stretch out major muscle groups. If your looking to increase general flexibility and body awareness this separate five minute routine will help a lot.

Cheers to a successful workout!

Sign up for your daily dose of enlightenment and positivity!