Is Pre – Workout Stretching Bad?
History has taught us that we are supposed to stretch before any form of activity we do. All of us remember watching Body Break or the older lady teaching the half hour fitness show on TV. Common, she’s still there teaching us the proper way you stretch. You’ve seen her. Anything you have watched in the past has focused on getting a good static stretch in before your workout. However, recent studies have shown that traditional methods of stretching may actually be hindering your performance.
Don’t get this post confused and think we are telling you not to stretch before a workout. We are trying to accurately give you the newest information regarding how to stretch to benefit your body, and your workout.
Static stretching refers to holding one position for a certain length of time. Wile that method has benefits, active stretching or an active dynamic warmup is proving to be a more effective way to stretch. A current study in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, has indicated that you may not have the full support of your muscles when starting your activity after a static stretch.
An active dynamic warmup is one that involves movement, and it may involve some form of light exercise. The purpose of it is to get the body moving at a rate that it may be moving while doing activity. Leg swings, torso rotations or even some body weight squats are a good way to start.
Current studies are actually showing that stretching does little in the way to prevent injuries. Now that doesn’t mean that you should stop stretching. If you start at car in -30 degree weather and drive it 1 min after you start it, chances are it will break down faster over time. It just means that you need to adjust your way of thinking as to why you stretch. Try to think of it as an enhancer to the activity that you are doing. When you’re doing something, you never want to learn that you have been missing out on the full benefits.
So, for a switch up to see what benefits you more, try to adding some active dynamic stretching to your pre workout routine. You may find that your mobility increases and you get more out of your activity.