Can Stretching hurt you?
Stretching is surely a big time stress reliever. When you stretch your calves after a long workout, it is surely a workout bliss. But believe it or not, it is one of the most controversial topic in exercise and sports.
Can Stretching hurt you?
There has been a lot of disagreement over many years about many aspects of stretching. Some people believe that their pre-workout stretch is a better and stronger way to reduce their risk of injury. But, a new study suggests that runners who stretch before a run may not perform as well as those who skip stretching. Also, stretching before running reduces endurance and at the same time increases the energy expenditure. The running distance decreased by 0.2 kilometers and the energy expenditure increased by 20 calories. The differences may not seem so great but they are more than enough to affect any performance in the long run. It’s best to do your pre-run stretching after a gentle warm-up run of five or ten minutes, since “warm” muscles stretch more easily. Also, you should always take time to stretch after a run.
Along with pre run stretch affecting your endurance, static stretching may cause harm to your body. To avoid reduced muscle-tendon stiffness and reduced muscle strength, focus more on dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching will make the body flexible and efficient – strength and endurance gains and the body will recover more quickly from really energetic workouts. So you better spend your time warming up with dynamic stretching. These moves, which include butt kicks and walking with high knees, improve range of motion and loosen up muscles that you’re going to use on the road. They also increase heart rate, body temperature, and blood flow making you feel warmed up sooner and run more efficiently.
Do’s and Don’ts for Stretching
Follow these tips to get the most out of your stretching:
Don’t rush it.
Stretch slowly and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Don’t stretch through pain. Don’t stretch beyond the point where you begin to feel tightness in the muscle. You shouldn’t push through muscle resistance, and never stretch to the point of pain. As you feel less tension, you can increase the stretch a bit more until you feel the same slight pull.
Do stretch both sides.
Don’t just stretch your one side because you feel tightness on that side. Make sure you’re stretching both sides equally.
It’s a common mistake, but bouncing risks pulling or tearing the muscle you’re trying to stretch. Make sure you stretch your muscles gradually.
Don’t hold your breath.
Stay relaxed and breathe in and out slowly. Make sure you don’t hold your breath. Take deep breaths.
Following the above precautions, functional range of motion is way more important than flexibility. This will make you less prone to injuries.
Can Stretching hurt you? What is your opinion?
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