Stretching is very important, but not for the sake of What if stretching before your workouts provided little to no actual benefit? Still, even in these cases, static stretching will be more effective if it is done after the exercise, not before. Let's learn the truth behind some of the most common fitness myths so that you can get the best of your workout: Is it necessary to stretch before a workout? Myth #2: You Shouldn’t Stretch Before Your Workout, Only After. Dating back to the early 1980s, the practice of static stretching before exercise was widely believed to prevent or reduce the risk of injury, and to promote performance. Accordingly, it is common practice for stretching exercises to be included in a warm-up session. Stretching is about increasing the tissue length. MYTH #1: YOU ONLY NEED TO STRETCH BEFORE OR AFTER A WORKOUT, NOT BOTH Fact: It’s important to stretch before and after a workout. It’s crazy! What you should be doing is called ‘dynamic stretching’ – and you should be doing it for all of the key muscle groups that you will be training that day. When you stretch your stretch tolerance increases, but your muscle tissues are not lengthening. Warm up by walking before cardio or doing light weights before intense training, and do stretch after a workout. For the rest of us, however, who get most of our regular exercise in the gym lifting weights or doing cardio, static stretching just isn’t very useful. “Chris, all of that sounds reasonable, but I feel like I should be doing something before attempting to lift heavy weights.”. Static stretching before exercising is not recommended as it might weaken your muscle and impair athletic performance. While stretching you want to feel moderate discomfort, but not pain. The best type of stretching to perform before your workout is dynamic stretching. Recent studies suggest that stretching doesn’t prevent injuries, and may even cause some. Now, if you haven’t been warming up properly before, this may sound like a lot of sets to do before your actual workout…. MYTHBUSTER: This type of warm-up—known as static stretching—may … When you sit on the ground and reach for your toes the first time you may not be able to reach. Do you find that it helps with your workouts? Myth 5: Stretching Before Exercise Prevents Injury This particular myth is contentious. Fact: A study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine states that stretching before exercise doesn't necessarily prevent injury. Well, based on this 2007 study on how stretching impacts muscle power production and activation, researchers concluded that it had absolutely no effect on either one. Any positive associations are likely due to the placebo effect and are entirely anecdotal, since solid research found no significant reductions in DOMS by stretching before/after exercise[2]. Wow, those are some pretty important-sounding benefits, huh? If you’re having pain and stretching provides some benefit but nothing long term, you may want to focus on strengthening those areas instead. Yep, you can actually stretch too much. Instead you should focus on stretching consistently, not just before or after an exercise. 1. We’ve all been told this at one time or another – but why? It’s important to stretch to maintain healthy joints and have appropriate mobility for physical activity. The percentage who’ve heard of it: 82%. Rich Barlow Once upon a time, stretching was to exercise what proposing is to marriage: an essential ritual that had to be done before the main event. The researchers from the University of Hull in England "concluded that static stretching was ineffective in reducing the incidence of exercise-related injury." Myth – Stretching Before Exercising Prevents Injuries By Dr. John Amundson, PT As a Physical Therapist, I get a lot of questions about stretching. Sure, you can hold the stretch for 30 seconds, but you don’t have to. It is commonly believed that stretching will help to reduce post exercise muscle soreness also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Research suggests that stretching before exercise makes your muscles weaker and slower (PDF, 516kb) , even though you might feel looser. These stretches will not only keep muscles loose but also can increase range of motion and improve body awareness. Nope – at least not according to a 2010 study on Australian football players which concluded that static stretching did not aid muscle recovery at all, nor did it impact post-training soreness. myth #1: stretching before workout prevents injury Once upon a time, stretching before workout or exercise was considered essential to prepare the body and decrease the possibility of injury. This probably includes some basic, static stretches for the muscle groups that you are going to be exercising that day. Let’s examine this myth one gender at a time. Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury: a critical review of the clinical and basic science literature Objective: To evaluate the clinical and basic science evidence surrounding the hypothesis that stretching immediately before exercise prevents injury. When you stretch your stretch tolerance increases, but your muscle tissues are not lengthening. Debunking the stretching myth and giving you real reasons why muscle stretching helps your body, and how to do it properly Stretching before activity is great for you, but not for the reasons you might think. Aim to stretch 5 to 10 minutes before and after exercise. Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site. Guidelines on who needs to do what kind of stretching and when should be individualized, depending on It can help increase your strength, endurance, and speed, according to this comprehensive 4-week study on dynamic warm-ups. “Oh! The myth is that if you exercise too intensely, you end up burning carbohydrates instead of fat. Next up, let’s take a look at the performance claim. Stretching to increase mobility should be done as a separate workout. Perform light cardiovascular exercise for 5 to 10 minutes before stretching to prepare your muscles for activity. False. It's the most dangerous type of myth because there's a kernel of truth in it, Hutchinson said. Stretching – what the research shows dispelling the myths and learning the truth Below is an article I found researching pre-race stretching. Instead, begin by dynamically stretching the muscle groups that you are about to train, and you’ll be good to go. You may have heard that stretching before your muscles are warm is a bad idea. Perhaps you were part of a sports team in your school years, back when stretching was a priority before practice started. Apparently, it’s not that simple. Yes, but what’s crucial is knowing how to stretch properly. MYTH. The Myth Of Stretching Before Your Workouts. So, given what all of these studies tell us, static stretching doesn’t seem to deliver on its promises. This is not always the best advice. 1: Always Stretch Before Exercise Yes, this one is a myth! These are: Static and Dynamic. MYTH #4 Doing long, slow stretches before exercise can help prevent injury. But intense stretching can lead to even more muscle damage and pain if you aren’t careful! Myth: Stretching helps your body recover faster after a workout. Does stretching before exercise affect performance? We were sure to stretch before we were hit in the head with a dodge ball!! While it is still commonly recommended to stretch after exercise, it may not be as protective as we thought to stretch before exercise. Stretching after exercise, magic or myth? The most likely reason is that holding the stretch tires out your muscles. help reduce the chance of your getting hurt. Before you start stretching it out—or doing any other warmup, for that matter—check out the most common misconceptions Taylor hears about warming up. Because you heard it’s good to stretch? Myth No. Evidence suggests that acute stretching immediately before exercise can have a negative effect on performance due to the physiological changes seen in the muscle and the decreased ability to store elastic energy (Wilson et al, 2010). Fact: There is also the misconception that because it isn’t ideal to perform static stretches before a workout, that this type of stretching is “bad.”. Athletes of a certain age were warned to stretch their muscles before exerting themselves to avoid a debilitating pull or injury. Myth: Always stretch before your workout Fact: Do the right type of stretches before your workout. before your muscles have warmed up — isn’t just useless, it can actually cause harm. stretching In fact, this is the warm-up protocol that I personally follow, and I whole-heartedly recommend that you give it a try too. Apparently, it’s not that simple. Fact: Though stretching should be part of warming up, the muscles must be warmed before flexibility exercises. Stretching can take anywhere from 15–60 seconds. Hundreds of millions of joggers around the world perform static stretching exercises before going for a jog. This will put your muscles through the full range of motion that you will be working them in, and properly prime you for the later, heavy sets. MYTH #4 Doing long, slow stretches before exercise can help prevent injury. 4 of 14 Fact: Stretching loosens your tendons, and makes muscles feel weaker and less steady, according to a new study. 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