Zuvielify: When people use the word “stretch”, they typically mean “Static Stretching”. Modern research shows static stretching before exercise is actually a bad idea. It has been shown to reduce muscle power performance, while providing limited (if any) injury reduction.
However, “Dynamic Stretching” is good. Dynamic stretching is basically what people call “warming up”. Things like: arm circles, leg swings, easy lunges, etc.
W4FF7E: I stretch for mobility. Trying a certain movement that requires a level of mobility when you haven’t stretched/warmed up can lead to an injury.
sharkshaft: Maybe I should post this independent of this post but – I see a lot of ‘stretching is bad’ on here. I personally have some lower back pain. If I stretch my back out for a few minutes prior to going for a run I’m good to go. If I don’t stretch, my back hurts both during and after the run; usually all day after. Not a crazy pain but definitely discomfort.
If stretching is bad, should I be concerned over this result?
Nanner_hammy: I read somewhere that it is actually better to stretch days prior to heavy work outs. When you stretch you make micro tears in your muscles and ligaments. Giving your muscles the time to heal after stretching gives you the benefits of stretching without putting you at risk of injury. It may be beneficial to have a stretch day in your work out regimen and then **warm-up** before each workout.
idunnofuckoff: I remember reading that a pretty comprehensive study was done, and people who never stretched, and people who always stretched, had almost identical injury rates. People who sometimes stretched, but sometimes didn’t bother however, had far more injuries than the other groups.
npepin: Stretching is a controversial topic. It isn’t clear that it does anything. There is research which shows it can be good. There is research which shows it can be bad. There is research which shows it does nothing. Really, more research needs to be done on it. But as for now, the scientific landscape is a little too rocky to have any firm footing, so I recommend waiting until there is some sort of expert consensus from the sports and performance experts.
Stretching does need to be differentiated from warming up. It is probably important that someone who benches 315lbs warm up prior to benching and not just go into benching 315lbs cold. One big reason is because the level of technique needed to bench 315 tends to be pretty high and the margin of error is low, so it is generally good to prepare for the lift by ramping up to it.
When it can get a little confusing is that many weight lifters will do a lot of stretches to improve their flexibility. For them, having increased flexibility is important because the positions that they need to get into in order to perform maximally require a great deal of flexibility.
VergeArete: I will give you a simple answer: stretching before work-out is not a good idea as it creates micro-tears in your muscle and compromises performance when doing heavy duty lifting.
Here is when stretching is actually beneficial: long-term. Stretching will allow blood to flow into your damaged muscle and allow more better development and flexibility long-term.
Stretching essentially changes the way your pain-receptor picks up signals when muscle is elongated. Your muscle does not get longer.
BruceWilliz: I just pulled a muscle in my chest because I went for heavy weights straight away. Warming up, not extreme stretching, seems useless until you forget to do it and then you can’t work out for a few weeks because you damaged something.
Another reason is that the bigger you get, the less mobility you have. It’s always great to make a habit out of stretching before your work outs.
Kahnonymous: I remember being taught in basic that stretching AFTER helped flexibility while before workout stretching was just warming or loosening up
warm_melody: **Do not stretch** before doing exercise because of increased injury. It’s also a **huge waste of time**
It is important to warm up. Warming up means doing a lighter version of your exercise, like walking before running and light weights before heavy. Warming up reduces injury by getting your body 100% ready for the upcoming exercise.
You can further improve your exercise by massaging muscles regularly. Massage increases the blood flow and helps you relax. Tight muscles are weaker and can damage your skeletal system.
Stay curious 🙂
subbookkeepper: it’s actually not important at all.
You’d be best just warming up, and a warm up is literally just a warm up for your muscles.
And the best warm up for an activity is just to do that activity at a lower intensity.
Thebadmac: I have always warmed up just by gentle movements rotating shoulders, knee bends etc all over the body before exercise and it’s only after exercise do I stretch, static and dynamic (holding stretches for 30 secs or longer to improve flexibility. Think of it like an elastic band if you take one out the packet and stretch it, it’s likely to snap. Play about with it for a bit and gently stretch and increase it will get warm and you can stretch it more without it snapping.
Morgizi: I don’t believe in it. You ever see a lion limber up before it takes down a gazelle?
JKJ420: It is NOT important. Warm-up is important. Stretching before exercise causes more problems than it solves. Stretching after exercise is beneficial.
ilikewaffles_7: Its good to do dynamic stretching i.e. running, jumping before exercising that way your body is warmed up. You should only static stretch after.
_fantasticdamage: And your, Love Muscle?
CanadianAstronaut: It’s not. There has actually ben a lot of evidence showing it hurts and can lead to increased frequency of injury.
Sithundersheets: You always shake or slap your flavouring packet from your instant noodle before you tear it open and plunge the powder into soup. Similarly it is believed to loosen up before you make the plunge into exercise.
jwrry: Try to look at your muscles like a rubber band. If you were to pull on a cold rubber band it’ll just snap while pulling on a normal one would just see it stretch. So we stretch the muscles to warm it up so it’s not cold/stiff when we suddenly put it under pressure.