Just a while back, TIME magazine had a lot to say about why stretching might not be the most effective thing when it comes to warming up before a training session. This debate has largely gathered momentum in the spate of recent studies, claiming a wide variety of things such as muscle distress, and others. We’re left with the obvious question: stretching as a form of warming up – truth or fiction fed to us by overenthusiastic trainers?
The Nay Camp: The Myths about Stretching and How it affects You
Myth 1: Stretching Prevents Soreness
According to the latest research, apparently stretching is not the key to preventing soreness. A study conducted by a team from Cochrane Researches was able to show, on a basis of nine studies and 10 trials, how stretching before, after, and in between exercises such as running was unable to prevent the post-exercise soreness which we all dread. So soreness can affect you irrespective of stretches…right.
Some people believe stretching is not to alleviate soreness but to prevent pulling a muscle.
Myth 2: Stretching Prevents Injury
There’s new evidence to support that stretching is not essentially a fool-proof way of keeping yourself safe from injury. While most trainers and experts agree that stretching has the potential to reduce chances of accidental injury to your muscles, it’s in no way completely effective as a preventive measure: as established by a study by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons from a sample space of 2,729 runners.
Well, nothing is perfect. But it certainly helps!
Myth 3: Stretching Helps Lengthen Muscles
A study of 104 participants at the University of Zagreb basically figured out that not only did stretching NOT help lengthen muscles – it helped reduce muscle strength by 5.5%. What’s more disconcerting, when it studied men who did and did not stretch before lifting, it was found that those stretching could lift 8.3% less weight than the ones who didn’t stretch beforehand.
But is this enough to conclude that stretching is bad for us?
Before you completely disregard stretching (for those that are very ignorant), though, consider the advantages of it. Stretching alone may not prevent soreness or injury, and even weaken your muscle strength in the short term, but its benefits are evident only in the future.
When combined with the right technique, stretching can be instrumental in preventing injury, stress, etc. Studies also conclusively show how stretching can help you in the long run. Not only does it help improve flexibility and posture by over 18%, it helps in strength, endurance, and ability to perform better on weight machines.
Whoever believes stretching is a waste of time has never played any sport before.
The important thing, then, is to know the When and the How of stretching for a holistic health solution.
August 18th 2015, written by Benjamin Roussey for bodono.
Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006) where he attributes his writing prowess. He has worked everywhere from small businesses to large corporations, and also for public agencies. He has lived in Korea and Saudi Arabia where he was an ESL instructor. He misses Saudi food and living in Korea. Benjamin has a tremendous work ethic and is quite focused. Now he writes professionally for several clients that covers one sector of our economy to another. Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online: www.infinista.com.