Active Concept Training

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Wanna stretch? Why?

Posted by Chad on October 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM

"Gentle stretching of a muscle that is already sore is perfectly acceptable, is not likely to negatively affect the muscle recovery, and can be used to briefly minimize the soreness. What about post-exercise stretching?  It is often claimed that static stretching after a hard workout can reduce muscle soreness.   Well, now that we understand the initial cause of muscle damage (micro tears in the fiber during a workout) you should also be able to appreciate that this claim simply does not make sense. Is static stretching going to somehow magically undo what has already happened anyway? Stretching after a workout where the muscles are warm can indeed, when done on a regular basis, increase muscle extensibility. " Tony Webster, PhD Exercise Physiology.



Mr.Webster states the research on stretching that is still being asked about to this day. We've known this for a long time, but Mr Webster puts it succinctly here. How can stretching undo microtears you have created during your workout? It can't. Now, after a run, bike ride, or less intense workout, where microtearing is minimal, a good easy static stretch will help.


The other thing of note is this, if you BELIEVE it is helping, it probably is. Our mind conrols everything, and science or not, if my client who has no other issues, wants to prop their leg up to 'stretch' their hamstring so they can have a better workout, then so be it.


One did our ancestors stretch? After a big hunt, did they plop down and do the hurdle stretch, the 90/90 stretch, cobra, etc?  Just wondering.

Categories: Mobility, Fitness/Tasks

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1 Comment

Reply bobby
11:24 AM on October 9, 2009 
I have found with my Cross Country team that slow gentle exercises after a run seems to help. My guys like doing some "old fashion" stretches and then some easy running drills. Perhaps some butt kicks, or easy lunges....Again, doing what is comfortable and what is enjoyable is, I believe, half the charm of such an activity
Good post Chad!