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The secrets of stretching
Around the Academy:

Michael Jordan takes a breather from an NBA game
Michael Jordan's muscles have served him well

Basketball legend Michael Jordan said one of the main reasons why he played in the NBA well into his late 30s was because of all the stretching he did as part of his fitness routine.

And if it's good enough for 'Air' Jordan, then it must be good enough for any sports star, professional or amateur.

Stretching should be a vital part of everyone's fitness plans.

Martin Johnson stretches his thigh muscle
Martin Johnson needs to be in top shape

It makes you supple, flexible and can even improve your performance, making you faster, stronger and more agile.

Stretching also improves blood flow to the tissues, as well as helping to prevent injury.

For example, all those lunges and high ball controls that professional footballers do would damage their muscles if they weren't so supple and flexible.

Fast bowlers would strain their leg muscles when lunging forward to deliver the ball as too would tennis players, sliding along the clay courts at the French Open.

So why is stretching so important?

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Stretching secrets
Muscle benefits

Michael Jordan's facts
Date of Birth: 17 February 1963
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Height: 6ft 6in
Weight: 15st
Position: Guard
Teams: Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards

Did you know?
The human body has over 650 muscles

Muscles have two jobs - to contract (shorten) when being used and expand when resting


James CracknellWorkout with the stars


James Cracknell


Matthew Pinsent


Angellica Bell

Matthew Pinsent masterclass
Work the lower body with Pinsent

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