Are you one of those that have been told to stretch repeatedly or stretch before you train or work out?
My question to you is why are you doing it? Have you been told that it will prevent injury?
So, this might rattle some feathers, but the fact is that there is little to none research that proves that static stretching before you train reduces risk of injury nor does it increase performance. In fact, it can increase your risk of injury during training.
So, you are probably wondering: “What should I be doing?”
Without a doubt get warm, (increase circulation) and get mobility to the parts and joints that are going to work shortly. We would suggest “active activation” of the given muscle/joint. We do this by slowly loading the muscle and joint to a point of maximal tension and then slowly releasing it – 3 x 10 repetitions with a 20-second hold at the end of the set.
For example, if we were to activate our hamstrings:
The next question is: Should I be dedicating time to stretch for flexibility?
The answer is you may stretch if you feel the need BUT, as long as it does not get in the way of more important things, training, warming up, strengthening and correcting muscle imbalances.
A word I don’t use often is “Average,” but the best place for your flexibility range is to be average.
Have you heard of the crazy hip cycle? Next time we will write up on THE CRAZY HIP CYCLE and how we can reduce injury and can increase speed and performance through our hips.
Regards Joshua and Tarnia