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Stretching before exercise reduces efficiency

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by twilyth, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. twilyth Guest

    When I used to work out, I got so incredibly fucking sick of people telling me I needed to stretch. Bullshit. I never stretched and never had a problem. There are some other popular myths I'd take issue with, but I'll limit myself to this one for today.

    In un-trained runners, static stretching decreased efficiency and performance.

    However in a follow-up study using trained runners, there was no effect on either efficiency or performance and did increase flexibility.

    So at this point, the jury is still out regarding the benefits or static stretching - or lack thereof.

    An Italian study (no cite, read in Sept Popular Mechanics, page 20) claims the reason for the reduced efficiency was that it "change the force-transmission properties of muscle fibers and alter the brain signals to muscle".

    However dynamic stretching is another can of tofurkey.
  2. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    What is "exercise"? :p
  3. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    A simple warm-up period is far superior to static stretching.
    When bodybuilding a few sets of light weights before going heavy had always worked better for me (when I was bodybuilding).
    I assume that a easy jog to warm up before running would accomplish the same thing.

    Now I'm old and stick with to 12 oz. curls.
  4. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    thats why before stretching its always good to take a lap or 2 around a track to get blood going, then stretch, static stretches do reduce efficiency n make u tired n feel worse, dynamic stretches such as soccer ball kicks, arm waves (breast stroke) doin the twist from side to side does help. Always best to sip water starting 2 hrs at the least before a workout, n dont drink so much diet/calorie free soda
  5. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    I just sort of naturally didn't pay much attention to stretching. I rarely work out but having done it like that before it seemed kinda obvious that this doesn't feel right. What I do think you should do is a light warmup to get the blood flowing, and if you're just getting into workouts for the first time in a long time spend at least a week doing cardio first to increase your blood delivery. One week of that is enough to noticeably increase your performance because blood flow is one of the first things to improve, at least if you're starting from square one.
  6. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

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    Stretching has never been done to improve performance anyway, but to prevent injuries, and it does work well for that purpose. But static stretching is better left for after doing exercise and dynamic stretching is better just before. I always felt this way, but most of my couches always insisted on doing quite a lot of stretching before exercise, both static and dinamic. Ironically, most of the people I've played with never really did static stretching "properly" before the exercise, me included (we did after tho), so it's nice and funny to hear we were basicaly doing the right thing. :laugh: Maybe it is because the body fucking knows how to take care of itself? That would be an oustanding lesson given by nature.
  7. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Another problem when beginning to work out after a long hiatus (say years) is that you may still have reasonable muscle strength but the connective tissue (ligaments) are not used to the stress (especially repetitive stress) and you can overdo it really easy (and quite painfully).

    I know I just did that about 6 months ago thinking I was still young, a screwed up my shoulders and elbows for about 2 months. :laugh:

    Also remember that recovery time increases as you age so give your body the time it needs to adapt to your new "inner Arnold".
  8. digibucc

    digibucc

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    in my mind you warm up, then exercise, then stretch as you cool down to combat stiff muscles.
  9. Champ

    Champ

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    I stretch after muscles get tight, but before hand, I could almost pull something or get tired.
  10. Widjaja

    Widjaja

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    When I did Karate and Muay Thai, I needed to warm up then stretch before any training.
    If I didn't, the potential to tear muscles would have been greater.
  11. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    The static stretching for martial arts (I took both karate and TKD) is different.
    You need a greater range of motion, not just a warm-up.
    The constant (and I mean daily if not more) stretching allows your muscles and tendons to get used to the extreme flexation (or articulation) that you are going to perform.
    It's the same in gymnastics.
  12. Drone

    Drone

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    How about some gaming before exercise?
  13. Robert-The-Rambler

    Robert-The-Rambler

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  14. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i stretch to prevent cramps and my back playing up, not to increase performance.
  15. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been running 60 -80 miles per week for over 30 years, have run 11 "Ulra's" (100km races), 32 marathons, swim, Gym (poetry!) and I have always "warmed up", again not to aid performance but as injury prevention, it certainly has worked for me and to some degree has probably kept me on the roads today, at 51 I still manage a marathon in just under 3 and a half hours despite 2 lots of cartiledge surgery and apart from the odd ankle sprain and an ankle fracture I have been relatively injury free for all those years..... perhaps I am just lucky!
  16. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    I just know that stretching while still cold does reduce performance but then can lead to injury.

    N Sprained ankles suck
  17. BazookaJoe

    BazookaJoe

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    I saw a shocking new study proving that up to 90% of people who exercise experience a significant loss of free time, some times as much as 45% of their free time simply vanished forever, NEVER to be recovered!

    Further study proved that amongst other things, they also, on average, completed new games 65% later than their non exercising counterparts, and less than 5% of regular exercisers had ever had a "First" post...

    Scary....
    Ev1LrYu says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. bucketface

    bucketface New Member

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    Stretching b4 exercise does nothing or at best serves as a "warm up" which can help prevent injury or strain. the only reason you stretch is to improve flexibility which can also reduce injury/strain. b4 heavy exercise a "warm up" is the best way to reduce the likelyhood of injury.
    You can run or do any other exercise without injury from a cold start but the risk of strain/injury is greater than from a warm start.
    The whole stretch b4 exercise is people confusing a "warm up" with stretching.
    personally i do static stretches then a warm up and then i go for my run. if i have any tightness afterwards i use stretches that specifically target the "tight" areas.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  19. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    I wonder why I was thinking about other stuff when I read that! Maybe its because I have a really twisted mind, but still... :laugh:
  20. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    The point of stretching before running is to reduce the risk of injury.
    Tatty_One says thanks.
  21. entropy13

    entropy13

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    We always do dynamic stretching. Although obviously mostly involving the legs, considering that's what we're using the most in football (not handegg).
  22. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    ya static stretching does cause the muscles to tire out faster n does reduce efficiency, its best to do a light jog of 1-2 Laps, then do dynamic stretching even static streches depending on wut your preference is, then do exercising, then cool down n dynamic n static strech again n eat snack or meal n relax lol
  23. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    im old school and i always stretch before i run. and when i run its full speed for as long as i can. i remember our PE teacher challenging us to see what happens if we ran without stretching. worst week of my life.
  24. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    You are right De.Das, going full tilt with no warmup is just asking for injury or problems.
    But the difference here is that dynamic stretching is superior to static stretching when it comes to running efficiency.
  25. Derek12

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    I once run without stretching first and suffered a cramp in my right leg .( lesson learned

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