Should I stretch before working out?
Should I Stretch Before
That’s a great question and there are so many opinions out there that say yes you should and more times than not they say no you shouldn’t because current research show that it doesn’t help improve range of motion or reduce your chance of injury.
Well here’s some up to date information for you
Current research that says you should not stretch before exercise is based on static stretching and they are correct. Static Stretching is performed by holding a stretch or position for a period of time and may or may not be repeated. Research & Studies have shown that this type of stretching is Passive and cannot increase core peripheral temperatures thereby not aiding as a warm-up (Science of Flexibility 2004. p. 160). In addition Static Stretching benefits have been shown to only last for 6 minutes after administration (Science of Flexibility 2004, p. 160). Lastly, Static Stretching has been shown to cause reduced muscle power and performance which puts you at risk of injury (Science of Flexibility 2004, p. 259). Conclusion is Static Stretching will result in reduced performance and no improvement in flexibility or range of motion.
Dynamic Stretching is performed without holding a stretch or position and moving a joint actively through its full range of motion. To make this even more effective is to do this by moving in & out of each stretch or movement at varying speeds from fast to slow. Imagine the ocean waves as they crash onto the beach. Each wave is slightly different then the last in its intensity, it’s height and how far up the beach it goes and never repeating the same path in or out. This is what we (Fascial Stretch Therapist) call a “Stretch Wave”. Coming in and out of a stretch and at different angles and this is why I use the term 3D Stretching. Just doesn’t make sense to stretch in 1 dimension when we move in 3 dimensions doesn’t it?
By constantly moving in and out of a stretch or position rather than holding a stretch allows for better blood flow and circulation thereby increasing core body temperature which aids in improving flexibility and range of motion. This is the best way to reduce your injury because your body is better warmed up through various ranges of movement allowing you to move better with less strain. The nervous system in addition is more prepared for what our about to do and less likely to be on guard. Lastly and most importantly is better muscle recruitment and activation which will increase the quality of movement and fluidity.