If you are like me, you grew up hearing that stretching before exercise is good because it helps prevent injuries. And you may also have seen lots of people stretching before a run, a bike ride or another exercise.
Turns out static stretching (the ones you hold a position for a length of time to increase flexibility) before a workout is not recommended unless you are a ballerina or a gymnast. Of course, there could be very specific medical recommendations to do a certain type of stretch before exercise for very specific conditions. If this is your case, by all means ask your doctor about the research I share below before changing your routine.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Stretching is detrimental to performance
- It does not reduce the risk of injury during exercise. Most injuries are believed to occur during eccentric contractions, which can cause damage within the normal range of motion., If injuries usually occur within the normal range of motion, why would an increased range of motion prevent injuries?
- It does not prevent soreness
- Stretching increases tolerance to pain- that might sound good, but in reality, this can create some damage at the cytoskeletal level, and then make us exercise this damaged “anaesthetised” muscle.
Here are a few sources for those interested in more details.
Would love to hear your experience with this.
Feel free to share the link to this post with any of your friends who love to stretch before exercising!