Myth of Stretching. Does it really help?
10s summary of article
- Stretching before workouts does not help reduce injury. In fact, it may actually make you even more likely to get hurt.
- Warming up by starting slowly, and easing your way into a workout will be much more effective for overall performance.
- Stretching is still useful but for different reasons. Dedicate sessions for stretching and recovery for your body.
For decades, we have been taught to stretch before any physical activities. But does stretching really helps us as much as we think? What is the purpose of stretching? When should you stretch?
Now, research suggests that stretching may not do your body as much good as people thought. After reviewing more than 350 scientific studies, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that stretching may not reduce the chance of injury. "There's insufficient evidence to demonstrate that stretching is effective," says Stephen Thacker. He's director of the CDC's epidemiology program in Atlanta, Ga.
Myth : Stretching Increases Peak Performance
If you are trying to hit that next PR, don’t expect stretching to help you get there. Some studies show that stretching may actually slow you down, especially if you do it before the physical activity you are about to undertake.
On top of that, stretching may actually increase the odds of you getting injured. Replacing stretching with specific strengthening exercises and warm-up activities such as jogging and sidestepping may be more effective for you.
It may be worth to consult your coach or gym teacher about this before embarking on it. If they insist you keep stretching, don't be too worried In some cases, gentle stretching can be helpful, as long as you do the right kind of stretches at the right time and you do them correctly. Instead of grabbing your ankles and yanking or forcing your body into pretzels, gentle motions that actively use your muscles may be more appropriate.
Experts recommend warming up by starting slowly to get blood and oxygen flowing to your muscles. Warming up is also a natural way of stretching your muscles just enough to prepare them for more intense activity.
Now, stop reading and get a move on this!