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Author Topic: Stretching  (Read 1147 times)
bmuscle90
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« on: October 28, 2007, 12:09:31 PM »

Ive been stretching before I workout for about 2 years now.  I stretch just a little (maybe 3-5min) right before I lift just to loosen up and not be stiff when I lift.  I read several times that you shouldn't stretch before you lift?  I feel that doing this helps me loosen up and allows me to flex and stretch better.  I wouldn't really say that what I'm doing is a lot of stretching or over doing it.. but I would like to know if I should or shouldn't be stretching before I lift?
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NoCalBbEr
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2007, 02:25:55 PM »

you should just do what works for you. I stretch after I train. I  always remember, that stretching before can kill your lifts.
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2007, 03:22:07 PM »

If light stretching before your workouts has been working then continue. You might want to do a warm up set or two before hand to make sure the muscles are a little warm first. This can prevent against pulling or straining something. I feel stretching between sets and exercises can also be beneficial. As well as after your workout.
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nuyork143
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2007, 04:28:31 PM »

If light stretching before your workouts has been working then continue. You might want to do a warm up set or two before hand to make sure the muscles are a little warm first. This can prevent against pulling or straining something. I feel stretching between sets and exercises can also be beneficial. As well as after your workout.

I also do a few warm up sets light ot warm the muscles, stretch between sets and stretch like a mofo after Im done.  But if stretching before is working fo ryou then continue! Grin
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Princess L
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2007, 06:45:00 PM »

This is the ACSM's stand on stretching.


Contrary to popular belief, stretching before a workout does not appear to decrease the occurrence of injury. The risk of injury seems to be about equal for those who stretch and those who do not stretch before exercise. The warm-up, not stretching, seems to be the important deterrent for injury, performed before an exercise bout. Stretching seems to offer more long term benefit such as maintaining functional flexibility and correcting particular muscular imbalances.

Shrier's (1999) review of the literature found three articles that suggested stretching was beneficial included a co-intervention of warm-up. One study found stretching was associated with less groin/buttock problems in cyclists, but only in women. Five studies suggesting no difference in injury rates between stretchers and non-stretchers and three suggesting stretching was detrimental. One reason stretching is thought to be ineffective in reducing the risk of injury is the fact that most muscle injuries occur when the muscle is eccentrically contracted within the normal range of motion (Shrier 1999). It seems more flexible individuals do not necessarily have less incidence of injury (Gleim 1997). In some cases those with greater flexibility may actually experience more injury, particularly if the excessive flexibility compromises joint integrity (Surberg 1983; Jones 1997). Although excessive flexibility may contribute to joint laxity, flexibility and joint integrity are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It may be possible for a joint to posses a combination of exceptional flexibility and excellent joint integrity.

Greater flexibility may impair performance in sports that that do not require a high degree of flexibility such as running. Runners with less flexibility are actually more efficient at running (Jones 2002). Intense static stretching may also reduce maximum force production. The loss of voluntary strength and muscular power may last up to one hour after the static stretch (Evetovich 2003, Young 2003). People who participate in activities that require more than average flexibility (eg: gymnasts, dancers, figure skaters) may still find stretching beneficial to their performance.

The ACSM recommends flexibility training a minimum 2 to 3 days per week holding each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds to mild discomfort; 3 to 4 repetitions per stretch. On a PNF stretches ACSM suggests a contract 6 seconds followed by a 10 to 30 second assisted stretch.

McCallister et. al. (2004) found that longer recovery days between stretching seemed to enhance stand and reach measurements:

Rest (hours)    Stand & Reach (cm)
24    4.2
48    4.8
96    6.9

This data suggests it may not be necessary to stretch daily but instead take a few days recovery between sessions.

Although stretching does not seem to offer many short term benefits when performed before exercise, stretching does seem to offer other long term benefits. Improved flexibility may help prevent back and other orthopedic problems. Individuals with certain muscular imbalances or postural problems can benefits from stretching. Stretching can help maintain flexibility which may otherwise decline with age or inactivity due to an injury. Stretching may be more safely performed after exercise, when muscles are warm. Unless an activity requires extreme flexibility, stretching before is probably unnecessary. And even then, stretches should be performed after a warmup.
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2007, 08:33:21 PM »

I stretch after.  Static stretching before exercise causes muscular "shutdown" via CNS, IIRC.


Jason
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2007, 12:52:36 AM »

what a load of horse shit, try not stretching your quads before leg day....

 Roll Eyes
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The Hand of Ron
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2007, 03:15:46 AM »

what a load of horse shit, try not stretching your quads before leg day....

 Roll Eyes

I really don't. I'll maybe do one light set of squats or whatever machine I'm starting out with as a warm up. 
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2007, 03:57:22 AM »

I pretty much stretch whatever im training. I just do a couple of light warm up sets, then stretch in between my working sets. I reckon it helps, and i always stretch my calves very hard in between sets. Doesn't hurt them and i get awesome pumps.
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nuyork143
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2007, 11:14:34 AM »

I pretty much stretch whatever im training. I just do a couple of light warm up sets, then stretch in between my working sets. I reckon it helps, and i always stretch my calves very hard in between sets. Doesn't hurt them and i get awesome pumps.

Def gotta stretch the shit out of the calves.  Mine are just now showing gains, I have to friggin kill them.  I was not blessed in the calve dept.  6'4" what a bitch!
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NoCalBbEr
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2007, 11:03:09 AM »

WOW! great read on the article. I've thought that stretching leads  to more muscle gains b/c your stretching out the muscle  and getting more blood into it. I guess that I will stop stretching, if it does kill my gains. But on the other hands there are some huge  successfuly pros that do stretching i.e. Jay Cutler, Dorian Yates and countless more. I guess this topic will alway be up in the air.
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John O
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2007, 05:00:55 PM »

I do like 5 minute warm ups like run on the treadmill or jumping jacks ect ect, then stretch.
I don't see any good coming from stretching a cold muscle.
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2007, 11:26:39 AM »

WOW! great read on the article. I've thought that stretching leads  to more muscle gains b/c your stretching out the muscle  and getting more blood into it. I guess that I will stop stretching, if it does kill my gains. But on the other hands there are some huge  successfuly pros that do stretching i.e. Jay Cutler, Dorian Yates and countless more. I guess this topic will alway be up in the air.

I always tell people to stretch post-workout.  The analogy I heard years ago was that if you take a piece of cold taffy and try to stretch it, it doesn't stretch, it just snaps.  If you leave it in your pocket for an hour and then try it, it'll stretch across the room.  Same for your muscles.  5-10 min of cardio should suffice for a warm-up.
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