Flashing your biceps in the mirror feels amazing…
Until you notice an ugly stretch mark on your skin.
Let’s dive right in.
How to get rid of bodybuilding stretch marks
Luckily, there are HANDFUL of ways to remove your stretch marks.
Especially for motivated exercisers with strong willpower like you,
You will be able to make them disappear in no time.
Here are 3 powerful methods to get rid of stretch marks.
1. Apply Stretch Mark Removal Creams
Stretch mark creams not only prevent the formation of stretch marks,
as well as diminish the existing ones.
It is currently the most effective way for treating stretch marks,
considering cost, time, and effort.
Stretch mark cream enhances the production of collagen and elastin in your skin.
This allows your skin to repair and recover damaged skin cells.
They also moisturise and protect your skin from sunlight, allowing your skin to be less vulnerable to scars and stretch marks.
2. Use Derma Roller
Often referred to as micro needling,
derma rolling is another highly effective way of treating stretch marks.
The way how this device works is that, it will create micro injuries on your skin,
from sterilized needles embedded within the roller.
Your skin will react to these minute harmless injuries,
and start secreting collagen fibers to repair them.
This induces blood flow to the skin and make the skin plump,
eventually diminishing the appearance of stretch marks.
It is a very commonly practiced treatment method in many clinics.
However, you can also do it yourself at home,
as long as you read the instructions carefully and follow proper procedures.
There are different sizes of micro-needles,
but for stretch mark treatment, choose between 0.5mm to 1.5mm.
You should consult with a physician for use of 1.5mm or larger,
because improper use of these needles can potentially lead to collagen breakdown.
How to use Derma Roller step-by-step
Step 1. Sanitize your hands, derma roller, and the area you are trying to treat.
Step 2. Hydrate your skin with a serum (optional but highly recommended)
Step 3. Gently roll the derma roller horizontally, vertically, and diagonally 8-10 times.
Step 4. Cleanse your skin gently.
Step 5. Repeat Steps 1~4 once or twice a month until you see results.
If you have a stretch mark cream, oil, lotion,
Apply them after Step 4, as your skin’s absorption will be boosted in this stage.
3. Practice Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is one of the FASTEST treatment for stretch mark removal.
It is a non-surgical method that uses pulses of light to break down the molecular bonds within the damaged skin tissues from stretch marks.
Then your skin will start repairing discoloration and indentation that were caused by stretch marks.
One great thing about laser therapy is that
you can permanently get rid of stretch marks within a few sessions.
That’s not all…
Each session only takes about 30 minutes and has no downtime afterwards,
meaning you can resume your regular daily activities right away.
But here is the deal… it is VERY COSTLY.
A single session costs $700 on average,
and usually multiple sessions are required to get rid of stretch marks completely.
If money is not a problem for you at all,
it is definitely the most effective option for you.
How to prevent bodybuilding stretch marks
Now that you got rid of those ugly stretch marks,
it’s time to prevent future ones.
It takes some effort, BUT this is not a problem at all for you.
The fact that you are working out already proves that you are a self-motivated individual with a strong self-discipline.
Here are EASY preventative methods to counter stretch marks for your perfect muscular body:
There are tons of stretch mark creams, oils, and lotions on the market today.
And it is in fact the most popular and EFFECTIVE solution for stretch mark removal.
These creams are capable of keeping your skin hydrated,
and contain skin-nourishing ingredients such as Vitamin E, aloe vera, and cocoa butter.
Not only that…
these creams also enhance your skin’s collagen and elastin production,
allowing your skin to become more resistant to stretch marks.
Apply the stretch mark cream on the areas of muscle you are building.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
According to Dietitians, 70 percent of burning fat and building muscle comes from having a proper diet.
It is needless to say that same rule applies for your skin.
All you need to do is keep the following 3 simple rules in your mind.
a. Include skin-nourishing ingredients in your daily diet
Try to include foods that contain ingredients that promote healthy skin.
Vitamin E rich food: almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds
Collagen rich food: berries, soy, and garlic
Omega 3 rich food: salmon, walnut, and oyster
Gelatin rich food: egg yolk, mushroom, and milk
b. Stay HydratedWater will keep your skin moist, as well as help detoxify your body.
This makes your skin more supple.
Try to drink at least 8 cups of water daily.
If that is too challenging for you,
you can alternatively eat watery fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, honeydew, and cucumber.
c. Avoid performance enhancing drugs and supplements
Of course you would want to see results fast,
when it comes to building muscles.
A lot of people look for performance enhancing drugs and supplements,
whether you just want a quick bulk up for summer,
or you hit a plateau and started becoming impatient.
Again, I want to make this clear, bodybuilding should never be a short term goal.
Performance enhancing drugs and supplements like steroids and creatine will dramatically increase the speed of your muscle growth.
This will eventually result in scarring of your skin,
as your skin is not elastic enough to keep up with the pace of your muscle increase.
It gets worse…
These artificial materials will create hormone imbalance and can make your skin more vulnerable to stretch marks.
3. Workout Right
A majority of people choose to “Dirty Bulk” when it comes to muscle building season.
Dirty bulk refers to increasing your calorie intake by more than 500 above your daily requirement.
This will escalate both your muscle and fat mass, thus making your muscle look massive.
Yes, I understand that you want big muscles and want to obtain them fast.
But remember, there’s always a side effect when taking shortcuts.
In this case, that would be having compilation of stretch marks.
Simply take the “Clean Bulk” path by taking only 200~300 calories surplus everyday.
This will allow you to gain muscle gradually over time, as well as minimizing fat storage.
If you are a food lover and it is hard to control that caloric surplus through diet,
you can always choose to control it through doing some extra cardio.
4. Avoid UV Rays
A recent study has shown that UV rays can make your skin more prone to stretch mark development.
The UV rays can damage collagen and elastin inside your skin.
Always apply sunscreen if you are going to be exposed under sunlight for a while.
Also, if you’re planning to get your body tanned,
whether it’s for a bodybuilding competition or for your personal desire,
avoid going inside a tanning bed and use self-tanning spray or lotion instead.
What causes stretch marks from working out?
You might be wondering:
“Don’t stretch marks occur during pregnancy or puberty”?
In the case of bodybuilding, workout routines are intense.
Therefore, size of your muscles increase rapidly.
When it continues to grow past your skin’s elasticity,
disruption in the dermis layer of your skin occurs.
This causes discolored scarring of the skin, the Stretch Mark.
Why worry about stretch marks?
So why does stretch mark matter in the first place?
Our skin does a decent job in terms of healing, but it doesn’t care about how it looks.
Although stretch marks do not cause any health risks…
It can negatively affect you emotionally and psychologically by causing STRESS, ANXIETY, and LOW SELF-ESTEEM.
Whether you are a professional bodybuilder, gym trainer, or just a workout enthusiast,
your goal is to impress and attract other people with your flawless body.
You would not want ugly stretch marks to get in the way of achieving that goal!
In fact, bodybuilding competition as an example, the judges take appearance of your skin into consideration during evaluation.
Can you imagine losing the competition just because you have stretch marks and others don’t?
Even if you are just a casual weight lifter,
you would want to expose your smooth six pack abs and bulky biceps at the beach,
not a collection of stretch marks.
Which areas are mainly affected?
Common areas where stretch marks occur include:
Stretch marks can frequently occur around the shoulder (including armpit area).
The elasticity of the skin in this region is relatively weaker than other body parts,
therefore, making it more vulnerable to stretch marks.
Biceps (sometimes triceps) are the favorite places for stretch marks to appear.
Muscles in this area expand faster than other areas, causing stretch marks.
Stretch marks on the back usually occur due to growth spurt,
but muscle gain can also be the cause.
Thigh is also another victim when it comes to stretch marks.
Usually inner side of the thigh is affected.
Stretch marks on abs tend to occur more due to obesity,
but building ab muscles can sometimes cause them too.
Exercises for Stretch Mark Prevention
Luckily for you workout enthusiasts,
I’ve listed out some exercises you can do,
to prevent stretch marks on each body part.
Right exercises can enhance blood circulation,
which can help your skin remain elastic and taut,
allowing your skin to be more resistant to stretch marks.
Here we go:
Stretch marks on Shoulder, Arms and Chest
helps shoulder, chest and upper arm area skin tightening
- Start in a pushup position, arms about your shoulder width, hands flat on ground and pointing front
- Push off to one side and extend your arm upwards
- Twist your torso and legs
- Repeat this step on both sides of your body
helps tighten the loose skin near armpit
- Stand up with a dumbbell held by both hands
- Lift it over your head, arms fully extended (palm facing ceiling)
- Bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells until your forearms touch your biceps (upper arm should be stationary)
Stretch marks on stomach:
The Boat Pose
helps strengthen your muscles on your belly area and help minimize belly fat
- Sit on the mat with your knees bent.
- Lean back and stretch your feet so that your body forms a V shape
- Stretch your arms forward, touching lateral side of your knees with your hands
- Pull your ab muscles to balance
- Hold this position for 5 seconds and return to original position
will aid in belly tightening and keep it taut
- Lie down on the floor facing up, and raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor. You can bend your knees slightly
- While keeping your upper body in position, slowly lower your feet as close to the floor as you can. Make sure you don’t bend your knees any further
Stretch marks on Hips and Thighs:
Basic wide-stance squat
helps intensify your thigh muscles and enhance blood circulation
- Stand with feet wide apart (little wider than your shoulder width), toes pointed outward
- Bend your knees and lower your body into a squat position
- Keep your hips square and shoulders level.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds.
- Straighten your legs back up and repeat.
Lateral Leg Circles
helps leg muscles to be toned and smooth out stretch marks.
- Lean one side of your body against an exercise ball
- Keep one knee bent, extend the other leg outwards and make circular movements.
- Do 10 circles clockwise and 10 circles counter-clockwise for each leg.
The Single-Leg Pelvic Thrust
helps tighten your glute muscles and keep them firm
- Lie on your back with one side of your knee bent.
- Raise your buttocks off the ground, making sure you form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees
- Extend one leg up with the foot flexed straight
- Hold this position for 5 seconds before lowering down
- Switch legs and repeat