There is nothing wrong with stretching before, during, or after exercise. Just finished a work out. Commonplace stretches such as long-holding toe touches are a bad idea if completed before your muscles have had a chance to warm up. I think most of us can remember standing in our high school gym class, going through a series of obligatory stretches as we warmed up before class. As soon as I read this on SP, I changed to stretching after. A few minutes of easy stretches before a workout gives me a chance to focus on body awareness. This is known as a concentric contraction. (However, due to lumbar arthritis and my 60th birthday coming up, I DO need to stretch as soon as I get out of bed; otherwise, I am too stiff to move!) Prevent Injury. Finally, if your goal is not to warm up, but to increase your muscle flexibility or range of motion. Starting off your workout with opening up your body is great for being able to access more range of motion in your athletic performance. I'm seeing a PT and she has me doing a dynamic warm-up which is exactly what this article suggests. So even though static stretching by itself may not be the best way to get ready for your workout or game, you shouldn’t be afraid to include some stretching as long as it’s part of a larger warm-up routine. A traditional static stretch is a movement that places a part of the body (typically the arms and legs) at the end of its natural range of motion and is then held in that position for a certain period of time in hopes of increasing that joint’s degree of flexibility. I should also mention that any negative effects seem to depend on the intensity and the length of time spent on these stretches. I lived it! THANKS! But researchers now say stretching may not only prevent you from reaching your maximum strength during a workout, but it also could leave you more vulnerable to injury. When we’ve been in bed for eight hours, or sitting at a desk for about the same amount of time, our muscles will be tight. Stretching before exercising could actually CAUSE an injury - and make you slower Static stretching – where limbs are extended and held in a position for a period of time – is particularly bad Does stretching before exercise affect performance? Thanks so much for the skinny on stretching! the negative effects from stretching were virtually eliminated if the athletes waited at least 10 minutes before starting their competition. He never gets a Charlie Horse... but I often do, and I follow all the ACE guidelines. “The effects of stretching on performance.” Curr Sports Med Rep. 2014 May-Jun;13(3):179-85. For example, a walking lunge is essentially a hamstring, hip flexor, and glute stretch combined except that the final position is only held for a few seconds before moving on to the other leg. 2011 Nov;111(11):2633-51. It’s kind of like starting your car on a cold day and then immediately getting onto the highway going 70 miles an hour. Perform static stretching at the end of your workout. More Details about the Spark Your Life Convention--It's Only Days Away! So it might come as a pleasant surprise to many people that it may not be necessary, sort of. Warm up prior to stretching. moderate static stretches lasting less than a minute do not negatively affect performance, “Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review.”, “The effects of different durations of static stretching within a comprehensive warm-up on voluntary and evoked contractile properties.”, “Effect of acute static stretch on maximal muscle performance: a systematic review.”, ” Stretching-induced deficit of maximal isometric torque is restored within 10 minutes.”, “No Effect of Muscle Stretching within a Full, Dynamic Warm-up on Athletic Performance. In other words, the purpose of static stretching within a comprehensive warm-up on voluntary evoked... Would please take a warm bath, listen to soothing music, do some yoga poses or stretches it! Toe touches are a bad reputation in the media you should feel a minor while. 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