Hate to Stretch? Don’t Have Time to Stretch? I Have Good News!

January 16, 2009 I have never admitted this before, but I hate to stretch. It bores the heck out of me. When I stretch, I always think to myself that I could be using this time to burn more calories doing HIIT. I have a limited time to workout, so I simply avoid stretching. I’m going to talk about a better and more efficient way to maintain flexibility and prevent injuries. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, stretching before lifting makes your muscles weaker for that workout.

[Stretching before going for a run. A waste of time, or a smart way to avoid injuries?] I Develop My Deep Hatred for Stretching in 7th Grade I am going to talk about something that still upsets me! It revolved around a “physical fitness” test we used to have to take twice a year in Junior High. If I remember correctly, we had to see how fast we could run the mile, how many situps we could do in 60 seconds, and a brutal stretch test.

really liked to insure we did a lot of stretching before any activity. In the 80's I feared the Impending Nuclear War with USSR. Before I Rip Current Stretching Practices Apart… Studies have shown that a limited amount of stretching can be beneficial. He was out of shape.Junior High PE Teacher Yes. If we were going to run a mile and Mr Tyler was around. I was an outstanding sprinter and long jumper (for a 13 year old anyway) but was getting my butt handed to me in the flexibility test. After 3 years of stretching. but wasn’t flexible at all. like many Junior High PE teachers. I disagreed with him back then and still disagree with him to this day. Overall the group that stretched had an injury rate of 22% and the group that didn’t stretch was at 21%. I will probably add in a very small amount of stretching into my schedule after doing all of this research. Barbara Streisand. The other half did not stretch at all. I improved very little in the flexibility department and more than anything felt like I was wasting a lot of time. Heck. probably around 50 and had bad onion breath most of the time. he wanted us to stretch before playing ping-pong (I still love pingpong. He said that I would never be a good athlete if I didn’t work on flexibility. Does that make Mr Tyler right and make me wrong after all of these years? Nope! Stretching As A Way to Prevent Injury? Mr Tyler. After doing quite a bit of research which for the most part proves my point that a lot of stretching is a waste of time…I did find a study that showed a benefit of a limited stretching schedule. I used to argue with him that flexibility had nothing to do with athletic ability. it is MUCH less than what many people think.] A 13 Year Old 6’3″ Freak -vs. Here is the Irony about my stretching rant. you could count on 20 minutes of stretching. . I stopped growing at the age of 13. but without the 10 minute stretching sessions). My PE teacher’s name was Mr. The rationale behind it was that it helped prevent muscle injuries.[This is the evil test I am referring to! Kryptonite for tall guys like myself. Half of the recruits performed stretching exercises as a warmup. and This Test. Tyler. I was really good in sports back in those days. Kapooka Health Centre: A study in Australia tested 1500 recruits for a 12-week training program. That being said.

a karate kick. Swinging a bat. So when you are warming up with light weights.University of Sydney: A study examining several other stretching studies…”We can say with a high degree of confidence that stretching does not prevent muscle soreness. Note: If you are doing partials and lockouts in a certain exercise to increase strength in that exercise. This same study also measured that calf strength was still quite a bit weaker 60 minutes after stretching. make sure you use a full range of motion to increase flexibility. Here are a few studies for further reading: Wayne State College Study: Showing that bicep strength decreased 5% in tested subjects after performing static stretches. The Proper Way to Warmup Before Lifting . Lifting With a Full Range of Motion Increases Flexibility It has been shown that lifting under a full range of motion is the best way to increase your range of motion (active flexibility) while lifting.” Time to For The Technical Side of Stretching to Be Examined Don’t worry. Stretching Before Exercising Can Reduce Muscle Strength There are several studies showing that muscle strength can drop by 5-30% after stretching. 2. so I’ll stick to the major points. This makes logical sense. The difference between passive flexibility and active flexibility is called the “flexibility deficit”. The first thing to talk about is the two types of flexibility.” says Herbert. Supposedly stretching the muscle inhibits it’s ability to contract. I will keep is simple to avoid “zone out”. The crazy thing about all of these studies is that they can’t nail down precisely why strength and power decrease with static stretching. An example would be touching your toes or doing the splits. Improving Passive Flexibility Can Create a Flexibility “Deficit” Typically doing stretches that improve passive flexibility. “We can’t rule out that it reduces injury risk. Active Flexibility: This is the range of motion you have under muscular control. They acknowledge that the muscle isn’t as stiff after stretching and “believe” that this makes the muscle less likely to create as much torque. you may want to add a few sets right after this where you do a full range of motion. throwing a ball. etc. I know that the Internet is a “skimming” medium. but the weight of evidence is against it. So in some ways. won’t improve active flexibility to the same extent. many of the recommended stretches can create a risky imbalance. 1. right? To increase your range of motion lift with a full range of motion. McMaster University Study: Showing that calf strength decreased by 30% after stretching the calf muscle. A large flexibility deficit can create a condition for injuries to be more likely to occur. Passive Flexibility: The ability to hold extended positions using the weight or your body or other outside force.

Forgive me…I was feeling crunk (don’t even know what that means)…back to the post. You don’t want to throw the weights up and down like a piston just because they are light. Don’t click away just yet. “Pretend” like the weights are heavy and move at that tempo. I recommend that you mimic the speed and tempo of lifting heavy. This is also a great way to increase your strength levels in a lift. stretch after you exercise. Things like injury rehab and specialty sports like gymnastics require a different approach. it will just take a couple of minutes per day… University of Central Arkansas: This is my favorite study of all. even if the weights feel extremely light. it makes you weak Warmup involves doing a light version of the movement through a full range of motion If you need to increase flexibility. perform just one stretch for 30 seconds each day Note: As always there will be exceptions to the rule. I’m way too old to be using a word like “hater”. sorry! If you do want to increase your flexibility a bit. but with lighter weights. Here is a post I did on that subject: Lift Light Weights for Low Reps to Gain Strength and Muscle Definition Stretching Without Wasting Time…for The “Haters” Yes. The found that doing one 30 second stretch per day in a muscle group increased flexibility slightly more than doing it 3 times a day for 60 seconds.Basically lift with light weights and complete the full range of motion for a few sets. My Stretching Summary    No need to do before training. .

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