Stretching pre- and post-workout is something we’ve been taught in PE classes as early as elementary school. It’s an ordinary occurrence in parks and gyms to see doing stretches before beginning with their workout routine. Yet recently, there has been a clamor whether doing stretches is really beneficial. According to Gary Trainer, Osteopathic Physician for the Daily Mail, most people who do stretching are actually just wasting their time.  

Naturally Stretchy

Since olden times, we have strictly adhered to the rule of doing stretches before and after working out. The practice supposedly prevents us from the likelihood of obtaining a workout injury. But proofs are mounting supporting the claim that some of our stretching practices are actually making us more prone to injury. The question is do we really need to stretch? If yes, how do we do it the right way?

Before anything else, let’s lay down the fact that some people are born with more elastins, the protein found in connective tissues that makes it possible for the body to resume to its original shape after being stretched. The elastin makes the individual do a better range of motion, like those people in yoga class who seemingly do extremely difficult stretches without effort.

For the less flexible people, doing stretches can actually damage their tissues and make them even more unstable.

The different types of stretches we do should also be given attention. The classic stretches that require you to hold a pose for a minute have been revealed to cause tiny cuts on our body tissues. Furthermore, holding a pose for more than a minute enfeebled the muscles, so stretching might, in fact, be counter-intuitive. Studies also suggest that stretching after a physical activity provides little to no effect in reducing the duration and effects of muscle fatigue.

Muscle Relief Procedures

Dynamic stretching exercises like the walking lunge are believed to be better option over the classic static stretching due to the fact that the former allows muscles to warm up while being gradually stretched. Then again, some believe that rather than doing any kind of stretches, whirling foam rollers over the muscles is actually more effective.

Doctors of sports medicine suggest doing away with stretches and simply doing your routine at a progressive speed. When the body has warmed up, its muscles become more elastic, increasing in speed and strength.