Yes, you can build muscle by just flexing, but it will be very challenging as you only apply flexing exercises which do not provide complete support. These exercises only help your muscles to be both firmer and more supple but do not help much in developing your muscle size. If you want to build muscle, you must rely on nutrition and exercise.
Let TrainRightMuscle answer this question for you.
What is flexion exercise?
Flexing or stretching, which is an activity that produces tension at short intervals, produces contractions between muscle fibres, also known as isometrics.
A good example of this exercise is when you are leaning against a wall, sitting and bending your legs without any chair, this will put resistance on your legs, creating pain when you hold this position for about 1 minute.
Why flexing doesn’t help you build muscle yourself?
Flexing exercises are simply a form of toning your muscles, increasing muscle clarity, but not taking up too much of your muscle growth.
If you want to build bigger muscles, the first thing you need to do is eat, that’s the key.
Muscles cannot grow on their own if you just focus on training without eating, or eat but not enough to have the necessary calorie surplus.
Because when exercising, the body has consumed too much energy and nutrients.
Therefore, to gain weight and gain muscle, you can only focus on eating a lot. Nutrition accounts for 70% of muscle growth, and the remaining 30% depends on the level of exercise.
Your muscles need to absorb more nutrients than part of the energy lost.
Stretching only partially helps your muscles grow because it puts pressure on the muscles. If you think that just flexing to build muscle is not enough.
You should combine flexing exercises with weights, this will promote faster growth as well as you will feel the strength of the muscles.
For a workout program from 2014, in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers tested 16 young men to see if flexing exercises helped build muscle.
In that program, they had to regularly fold their biceps and triceps for 4 seconds each, and they had to repeat this movement 5 sets of 10 times, continuously for 3 months.
After 3 months, they got the results of increasing muscle size by 4%.
Compared to what you can do in 3 months, this number is still very small, right?
So, these exercises can still help you gain muscle, but will not make up too much of it, so you should focus more on weight training and daily nutrition.
In addition, that group of young adults also increased maximum biceps contractility by 15% harder and triceps by 46%.
When should you do flexibility exercises?
This exercise will be most useful when you need to recover from an injury, after a workout, or do some light stretches before you start working out.
And these exercises usually do not take too much time, you just need to spend a few minutes to be able to easily perform. And the advantage of these exercises is that there is no need for tools or equipment, you can practice anywhere.
These isometric exercises will strengthen the muscles.
There are some isometric exercises like the plank, sitting against the wall will improve endurance, it also helps keep your blood pressure stable, and you will feel more relaxed.
This is really a necessary tool for people who often suffer from muscle aches or gym people who easily lose strength.
Examples of flexing exercises (without tools)
This is a very popular exercise because of its effectiveness. This exercise will put pressure on almost every muscle group in the body.
There are many forms of plank, but you can do the most basic move:
- Lie on the floor with your hands on your elbows, feet close together and balance on your toes.
- Tighten your abs, and glutes, and breathe evenly and gently.
- Hold this pose for about 20-30 seconds 1 time.
- You can repeat this movement 3-4 times, or hold them 1 time for as long as you can.
2. Wall sit
This exercise will work more on the legs and knees:
- With your back close to the wall, your hands are relaxed.
- Start to bend your legs and push down (like a sitting position on a chair).
- Keep your back straight and lean against the wall.
- Hold the pose for 30-60s and repeat.
Flexing exercises (with tools)
1. Exercises for arms and shoulders.
This exercise will work more on your shoulders.
- Sit on a chair (with a backrest the better).
- Sit up straight and raise your arms out to the sides, shoulder height.
- You can use small dumbbells to hold in your hand.
- Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat 3-4 times. (Or 8-12 times).
2. Exercises lying on the floor.
For this exercise, you should use an exercise mat, or use any mat but not too thick. The use of this exercise will support your back, leg, and arm muscles.
- Lie down on the floor and raise your legs straight in front at a 60-degree angle.
- Raise your arms straight in the same direction as your toes.
- Hold this movement for 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat this movement for 3-4 times.
3. Hip Flexion
This exercise will work your hip and thigh muscles.
- Stand up straight and keep your hands on a chair or table for balance.
- Bend one knee up and hold for about 1 second.
- Then slowly lower down and switch sides.
- Repeat 8 to 12 times on each side.
You can also hold one side for 30 seconds, then switch sides, and repeat 3-4 times.
In addition, you can also refer to here, this place will guide you more exercises.
It’s important during that exercise to avoid moving too quickly, which won’t do much to your muscles. Please move very evenly and gently, this will partly help you avoid other injuries.
There are a number of exercises that can be applied to adults, and children.
So, we have answered the question of whether stretching helps you build muscle or not. The answer is that it is possible but very little, in order to develop muscle, it is necessary to affect many factors. You can’t just focus on muscle flexibility because it will be a waste of time, but you need to combine it with other exercises that come with it, and have a reasonable nutrition plan.
If you’re having trouble gaining muscle, this would be a great time to learn about supplements. But it is accompanying support, you need to focus more on daily nutrition to ensure the weight gain and muscle gain you want.