I never would have thought that stretching was counterproductive in exercising. Never. Not in a million years.
Contrary to what my brain thought it knew, stretching does not aid in working out. I had always thought stretching was what you were supposed to do; however, I’ve had my own practices as you’ll read later.
Trust me, I can’t make this stuff up! It’s true and many studies are proving it true.
Let me be a little bit more specific before you run off and tell everyone you know stretching doesn’t work.
First, this article states that static stretching before working out does not enhance the exercise. What is static stretching? I’m glad you asked.
Static stretches are the typical stretches you’re used to from gym classes. You know, the ones where you bend over and feel that pull on your “hammy.”
What scientists are saying about static stretches is that the stretching loosens up the muscles (duh!), but this loosening makes the muscles less able to store energy and spring into work.
Performance wise that means you’ll be less powerful, wobblier, and weaker. Now, who whats that?!
A lot of people don’t like to stretch before working out. For those who I just nailed on the head, science is backing you up, but not really.
Science says that static stretching isn’t beneficial before a workout, but it does say something else. Dynamic stretching is good before a workout.
Dynamic stretching differs from static stretching in what I’m sure you can already guess, movement. The whole purpose behind dynamic stretching is to move the muscles you’ll be using during your workout.
It also differs from static stretching in that dynamic stretches focus on a combination of muscles, joints, etc. Static stretching zones in on a single muscle group.
By moving the muscle groups and joints you’ll be using for your workout, it’s no wonder dynamic stretching is beneficial!
But, what about after a workout? For me personally, that’s my favorite time to stretch. Is it beneficial though? Let’s find out!
Upon first research, it seems that it doesn’t. However, when I’m talking about stretching, I’m probably not referring to the typical stretching most people think about.
I’m referring to mobility (click on difference between mobility and stretching).
Now, I could go on and on and explain all the differences between mobility and stretching. However, I think I’ll leave you the most important point. (And, I think she does a better job explaining this!)
Mobility has to do with moving.
I also want to point out that the main difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching was, yupp, you guessed it, movement.
It doesn’t take rocket science to see the correlation here. The key is movement. Movement, movement, movement. So, the science of stretching, is movement.
It’s also movement that keeps us happy and healthy long into our later years. I’m not providing scientific backup because that’s my opinion. You can try to prove otherwise, but movement is what prevents decrepitude.
My favorite, new tool I use for mobility is the supernova from mobilitywod. I’ll write a post about it’s awesomeness later. For now, here’s a picture!
As long as we keep moving, functionally that is, we’ll be happy and healthy. Which is great, because I’m a front runner for energetic movement.
Let’s get ENERGIZED!!!!