Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gym Myth-Buster Static Stretching Prior to Workout

Stretching Muscles, Runner ...Stretching is a very important part of a healthy workout routine. Stretching helps decrease the risk of injury by improving range of motion. It also helps with blood circulation,and posture which in turn, allows us to perform better. However, there is a right and wrong time to Static stretch. Studies have shown that  static stretching prior to exercise can actually hinder one’s performance, while  having no significant impact on reducing the risk of injury. The reason for the hinderance of performance has much to do with the fact that static stretching a cold muscle actually can stress the muscle rather than prepare it for exertion.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine; Static stretching is when you hold your muscle in a fixed position for a prolonged period of time, such as 60 seconds or more. This technique has been regarded as the gold standard for decades, but now research shows that it actually decreases blood flow within your tissue creating localized ischemia (A restriction in blood supply) and lactic acid buildup. This can potentially cause irritation or injury of local muscular, tendinous, lymphatic, and neural tissues.2

We now know that static stretching is more beneficial after the workout. However this does not mean you should go straight into working out without properly preparing your body. What has been proven to be most beneficial is to do a short period of cardiovascular exercise to get the body warm followed by dynamic movement stretching. This is performed by choosing easy exercises that will mimic or use the same muscles you are planning to use during your workout.1 The types of exercises chosen will depend on a person's fitness level. For instance lunges may be a great dynamic stretch tool for some, but be a rather challenging workout for someone else. While performing dynamic stretches it is important to go deep enough into the movement to feel a stretch, but not hold the stretch as you would with a static stretch.

An example warm up that I might put a typical client through to prepare them for a leg workout would be:
  • 5 Min jog
  • 30 lightweight or no weight squats
  • 30 lunges

This will properly warm up my client's muscles without exhausting them. Once the proper warmup is complete you are ready to have a great workout, which will render great results.

1M. (2011, May 20). Dynamic stretching. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from

2Reynolds, G. (2011, June 22). To stretch or not to Stretch. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent blog regarding the myth of static stretching prior to exercise. Very informational, especially on how to incorporate dynamic stretching instead to increase performance pre-exercise.