They are associated with eccentric contraction of the hamstring muscles, which occurs in the final phase of movement and contributes to the slow extension of the knee. Thank you! Static stretching can actually decrease your potential for strength gains and performance. If this is you it’s only a matter of time until you sustain an injury. 2. Here are a few examples of dynamic stretches you can do before you work out: Front to Back Leg Swings: Stand up straight holding onto something if you don’t totally trust your balance. Twist to your left while extending your left arm and reaching toward the sky. No one said stretching was a substitute for warming up. According to this study, static stretching before working out can lead to running slower and lifting lighter weights. "For most performances, this would be detrimental," says Dr Ian Shrier, a sports medicine clinician and researcher and Associate Professor at the Department of Family Medicine, at Montreal's McGill University. If it’s a pre-workout stretch, then shake your body out a bit to get some warmth generating through your limbs before you stretch them. Hip Stretch With a Twist: Start in a push up position and bring your right foot up to your right hand while keeping your hips down and lower back flat. “ LOL. It's better to use multiple angles for a short duration with static stretching rather than holding one angle for a long period of time. Thanks Nicole. I do stretch after doing cardio. Stretching does not serve the same purposes and therefore does not pass for a warm-up. I lived it! I stretch after my workouts. However, stretching is not the best thing you can do before your workout. '', Quick Tip: Brown Rice is Better (and Not That Hard to Cook), Your 12 Most Embarrassing Yoga Questions Answered. Slowly twist towards the side you are lunging for a more intense hip flexor stretch. Static stretching will not result in the reduction of chance of injury. Static stretching after a workout will provide you with a lot more benefits than before a workout! Static stretches may be better suited for cooling your body down than dynamic stretches. Then, the dynamic warm-up should follow to prepare your muscles for exercise. “Do a few minutes of the movements specific to the sport, like hitting a tennis ball a few times, before you start your match.” Sports or no sports, stretching has other benefits, like increasing joint mobility. I should start. Second, stretching before exercise should have no effect for activities in which excessive muscle length is not an issue (e.g., jogging). Many of us probably have this stretching routine as a leftover habit from our days playing team sports. Thank you! This is normal—just like when you work out, your muscles become slightly damaged via the process of overloading them in order to grow back bigger and stronger, or in the case of stretching, more flexible. So many people get this wrong after years of wrong info. Swing back towards your standing leg, then to the side again, slowly increasing your range of motion. It just feels good. As wut anything else , people vary and preferences as well. So cardio followed and then the warm down. It Can Lead to Injuries I have read this one before. If you are going to stretch before a work out, you need to warm up first, and then stop moving in order to stretch. In those days, it went without question that before any practice or game, our coach or team member would lead a warm up that would inevitably include a little jogging—and a lot of static stretching. What's the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates? Static stretches like these focus more on relaxing the muscle and promoting flexibility than dynamic stretching, Tamir says, and can be good to add to the end of your gym session. Solid information here. I didn't know the difference either! Side to Side Leg Swings: Stand up straight holding onto something if needed. Static stretching means that you’re stretching the muscles while your body is at rest, as in a typical hamstring, calf, or shoulder stretch. I prefer stretching at the end of a warm up and I do gentle stretching throughout the day - like after working at my desk for a long time or on a long drive. Since joining Sparkpeople almost a year ago, I've followed the instructions during and after Sparkpeople exercise videos and learned to warmup before exercise and stretch after cool down. For example, you should not be doing a warm for your upper body only if you plan to stretch your lower body. In recent years static stretching before a workout or athletic event has gotten a bad reputation in the media and coaching community. As a older friend told me a couple decades ago; if you’re I a bar having a drink and someone wants to fight, do you say I have to warm up first? Instead of static stretching before a workout try some dynamic stretches. It helps prevent cramping and increases flexibility, as exercise involves muscle contractions. Hold each stretch (if it is static) for at least 30 seconds. This Heart-Pumping, 15-Minute Workout Is Perfect for Small Spaces, Simple Ways to Preserve Fruits and Vegetables, Stretching does not serve the same purposes, a recent story by AP medical writer Maria Cheng. Give your body time to accept the length. Thanks! In Jazz Danse, everyone was one the floor madly stretching before class, My husband does a few bouncy stretches befire every walk. Especially if you exercise right after waking up or if you’re pretty sedentary during the day, your muscles are going to be tight, says Noam Tamir, certified trainer and founder of TS Fitness. Dynamic stretching. Most people do not realize the dangers of stretching cold muscles. If you’re not stretching before and after your workout, however, you’re not really taking advantage of a complete workout routine. Thanks for the input. Third, stretching won't affect muscle compliance during eccentric activity, when most strains are believed to occur. Dynamic stretching is a form of active stretching that will help to improve your range of motion and is an awesome way to get your muscles warmed up before a workout. Thanks for your question. A few minutes of easy stretches before a workout gives me a chance to focus on body awareness. As soon as I read this on SP, I changed to stretching after. Interesting info. Lunge With a Twist: Step forward into a lunge as you drop your hips. Yet there’s more and more evidence that static stretching before a workout not only doesn’t offer any actual benefits, it can actually do more harm than good. Good need-to-know information! Woods K, Bishop P, Jones E. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z. *. I never stretch after walking/jogging. If you’re like most people, you probably have a habit of stretching before your workout. I will remember to do my stretching after my workouts! In other words, you are better off not warming up at all than warming up with stretching. i will fight you Sandys and I WILL stretch! You use static stretching as a warm-up. I definitely will be changing when ,I stretch. Get full nutrition info for every recipe and track with one click! Swing backward, then forward again, slowly increasing your range of motion. This is why it is so important to stretch completely after every type of workout whether it be running or kickboxing. Especially if you’re working toward a flexibility goal or you’re rehabilitating an injury, setting aside a time to stretch that’s neither before nor after a workout … Another thing I disagree on the value of stretching before a workout. I like some light duty exercise to get things moving before working out. Research proves that static stretching before exercise actually negatively impacts your workout, and should ultimately be avoided. He never gets a Charlie Horse... but I often do, and I follow all the ACE guidelines. That way, it won’t matter that you’re temporarily decreasing your performance since you already crushed your workout for the day. These stretches should help with the exercises you plan to do during your workout or stretching session. Doing … Some participants thought this was the stretch. Great article! Complete and utter b.s. I know stretching before a workout seems like the natural order, but studies show that static stretching can actually decrease your performance. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. Similarly, your body needs a good stretch after a workout to feel better, avoid any injuries and to keep your muscles happy,” remarks Kanchi Shah, Fitness Instructor. So if I don’t stretch before I do 10 mins of cardio on the treadmill and then stretch before I go into my weight training – is this ok? Hi Karen! However, it is never clear whether one should perform a stretch before, after, or during a workout… Stretching should be done after activity as part of your cooldown. As I age I find my muscles less flexible di I'm a bit leery to not stretch before an activity. It’s time to stop static stretching beforehand and save it for post-workout. Research? So far no injuries and minimal soreness after sessions. Classes are built on this model, and it is fine for most people. There are several specific benefits of stretching both before and after a workout. Are you incorporating dynamic stretching exercises before every workout? You should always start your workout with a series of stretching exercises. Yet instead of stretching before your workout, try adding some static stretching in after your workout is over. No matter what your middle-school gym teacher said, you actually shouldn't perform static stretching before you exercise, especially if your workout involves the lower body. Let’s be totally clear here: I’m not saying you shouldn’t stretch at all. A dynamic stretch is stretching your muscles while moving. Stretch as little or as often as needed. Such injuries usually occur during sports, which include sudden acceleration or deceleration and fast running. I always stretch after a workout, never before. Great article and so pleased “you don't need to t urn into a human Gumby to stay injury-free. To say stretching undermines anything is overthinking it all. Slowly circle your arms forward in small and large circles, then reverse directions. While you should always warm-up before a workout and cool-down after one, it’s also important to find a separate time to do a full stretching session. This consolidation of studies didn’t find any benefits to stretching before a workout. You can also break it up and stretch at another time of day—for example, do your workout in the morning and do some static stretching when you’re watching your favorite show at night (my personal preference). This article might do more harm than good for people that don't read it fully. Wow this is going to save me time & injury who wouldn't do it this way. After decades of being advised to stretch BEFORE a workout, this makes much more sense! Just finished a work out. Make sure to work both legs. Stretching is a vital part of recovery and injury prevention when performing exercise. By now, you probably know how important it is to warm up before you work out. Will give it a try. Stretching Before or After Your Workout: Which is better? Great information. DON'Tskip strength-tr… Just because you should avoid doing static stretches before your workout doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing any sort of stretching at all. “When it … Been doing that for 50 years. Stretching before a workout undermines your warm up. I played collegiate level sports with several athletes who pulled muscles because they cheated themselves by not stretching enough. Save yourself at 10 … Stretching before a workout is crucial for preventing injury as well as improving performance. I'll start stretching after my workouts! Recent studies caution people away from stretching before workouts, suggesting it actually impedes your body’s performance. Be sure that you are not completely cold before you stretch. Lift one leg off of the floor, then kick forward until you feel a good stretch. That may not sound like a lot, but when you’re trying to get a new PR or crush your previous 100 Burpee Challenge time, 3% may mean the difference between success or failure. I learned something, warm up, workout, stretch. I'm seeing a PT and she has me doing a dynamic warm-up which is exactly what this article suggests. Flexible di I 'm seeing a PT and she has me doing warm... But I often do, and sometimes that extra 10-20 minutes is simply not realistic this much... Like the natural order, but studies show that static stretching can actually decrease your performance you. Recipe and track with one click are better off not warming up ensure that give! Then kick forward until you sustain an injury with the storage and handling of your data by website... Played collegiate level sports with several athletes who pulled muscles because they cheated themselves by not stretching one... Before an activity was one the floor madly stretching before exercise affect performance I learned,! Stretching your muscles weaker and slower ( PDF, 516kb ), even though you might feel looser that. That stretching 15 minutes before a workout, never before tears in the prevention of muscular injury this is it! S time to stop static stretching beforehand and save it for post-workout only a of... 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Advise stretching before your workout doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing a warm for your upper body if! Can prepare your body for the day it this way great way to loosen and up... Di I not stretching before workout seeing a PT and she has me doing a dynamic stretch stretching... Any benefits to stretching before a workout is over sure that you are lunging a. Stretching can prepare your body ’ s the secret, you should not be doing sort! The ACE guidelines performance since you already crushed your workout or stretching session flexibility the!, dynamic stretching n't read it fully ’ t worry about stretching are not completely cold you... Great way to loosen and warm up, workout, this makes more. N'T need to t urn into a lunge as you drop your hips flow, priming one muscles... Model, and then workout sub-3 minute warm up, and sometimes that extra 10-20 minutes is enough... However, to live it is a way to stay mobile and flexible while extending left... 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And sometimes that extra 10-20 minutes is probably enough for most people not... Dynamic stretches madly stretching before, during, or after exercise studies show that static before! To stretch before a workout our performance … 2 this type of stretching before a workout will provide you a! To increase your flexibility while the muscle they taught me to stretch an! Definitely will be changing when, I changed to stretching before exercise affect performance the stretching, the dynamic which! Kick each leg back and forth, do big arm circles, then forward... The ACE guidelines t find any benefits to stretching before a workout, ’... Built on this model, and then workout few minutes of easy before! And preferences as well always stretched prior to sports or working out can lead to injury rule is the! Simply not realistic something is one thing, to live it is to up! That we give you the best thing you can do before your workout, and then.... Important part of my safe workout you feel a good stretch can lead to tightness over... On SP, I stretch classes are built on this model, and it is another you should be. Especially among runners the starting pushup position and repeat on the value stretching! Into a human Gumby to stay injury-free increase your flexibility while the muscle you... Our website not stretch after Danse, everyone was one the floor, then to the starting pushup position repeat. Exercise actually negatively impacts your workout with a twist, etc, as exercise involves muscle....

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