The truth of stretching


Extended truth

Do these lines sound familiar?

You have to go on for a while to get the benefit.

Don’t bounce – you’ll tear your muscles.

If you don’t stretch before a workout, you’ll hurt yourself.

Well, they’re all wrong. But first, there is a bigger question to answer.

Do you need to stretch?

The American college of sports medicine says it’s a good idea. ACSM recommends exercising each major muscle group at least twice a week every 60 seconds.

Staying flexible with age is a good idea. It can help you act better.

For example, regular stretching can help keep your hips and hamstrings flexible, says Dr Lynn Millar. She is a physical therapist and professor at winston-salem state university.

If you have a problem with posture or movement, make it a habit to stretch your muscles regularly. If you sit at your desk all day, contorting your posture may help

A simple stretch

Exercise physiologist Mike Bracko suggests that the standing cat-camel becomes a work-related hind leg. Here is:

Your feet stand on your shoulders – wide apart, knees slightly bent.

Lean forward and place your hands above your knees.

Go around your back, tighten your chest, and bend your shoulders forward.

Then bend your back, open your chest and roll your shoulders back.

Repeat a few times.

If your job keeps you in the same position all day, Bracko recommends doing at least two extra minutes every hour to twist your posture.

Do you need to stick with it?


Stretch the muscle to a maximum level of 15 to 30 seconds. This is called static stretching, and as long as it doesn’t stretch, it doesn’t hurt stretching.

But studies have shown that dynamic stretching can be just as effective and sometimes even better, especially before exercise.

Dynamic stretches, such as standing cats and camels, move muscle groups throughout the exercise.

This is the static version of cat-camel:

Tie your fingers together and place your palms in front of you.

Stretch your arms as far as you can and bend your shoulders back.

Hold for about 10 seconds.

Now loosen your finger and put your wrist or finger behind you.

Raise your arms as high as you can, but don’t let go of your hands, open your chest and roll your shoulders back.

Any stretch, static or dynamic, you should feel comfortable, but you shouldn’t feel pain. So you don’t have to go any further than usual.

Should you stretch before exercise?

Unnecessary. There is no evidence that it can help prevent injury, prevent muscle soreness after exercise or improve performance.

Static stretching before a workout may impair movement, such as sprinting speed. The most likely reason is to stretch your muscles.

You should do dynamic scaling, which is similar to your exercise, but less intense. Warm up before running can be brisk walking, walking pace, leg swing, high steps, or “butt kick” (run slowly, kick your back).

Start slowly and strengthen gradually.

What if you stretch after a workout?

Now is a good time to stretch.

“Everyone is more flexible after exercise because you have increased muscle and joints and you are moving them all the time,” miller said.

If you extend statically, you can take advantage of it now.

“After you run or do weight training, you can take a short walk to calm down and then do some stretching, which is a good way to end your workout,” braque said.


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