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Written by: Marci D’Argeno PT, DPT

For many of us, athletes and couch potatoes alike, stretching tends to be a drag. Just another task on our to do list that weighs on our conscience, one more thing to make time for like cooking, getting that work assignment done, or finally taking care of that home repair. Stretching has long been widely recognized as a necessity for fitness, flexibility and even injury prevention. However over the last couple of years this workout staple has been questioned on whether it really is necessary, how and when to do it, and what type of stretching is best. Read below to debunk these myths and make the most of your workouts!

MYTHSTRUTHS
  • Begin each workout with stretching
  • Warm-up your body first by a light jog or stationary bike 5-7 minutes

 

  • It is best to stretch before/after your workout
  •  It is not a must that you stretch before or after your regular workout. It is just important that you stretch sometime
  •   Isolated static stretching is most beneficial to lengthen muscles fully

 

  • Dynamic stretching is ideal: moving your muscles and joints through the ranges of motion that are required of your sport or activity
  •  Stretching prevents future injuries
  • Over 350 studies from the Center for Disease Control found that stretching has no effect on injury prevention
  • Stretches shouldn’t be held for more than 2 seconds, after 2-3 seconds a stretched muscle will tighten or “snap-back” to protect itself from tearing
  • Medical studies show every form of stretching provided about the same gains in flexibility and increases in range of motion (i.e., 15, 45, 120 sec hold 2-3 reps)
  • If you are flexible you don’t need to stretch
  • Stretching helps you perform better by focusing on your connective tissue system before your muscular system
  • Stretching can reduce your muscle strength
  • Regular stretching after training or competition has been shown to improve strength and speed