Likelihood is you’ve got been informed many alternative issues about stretching through the years that appear completely contradictory. A part of the difficulty is that stretching is not one-size-fits-all: There are several types of stretches, and what’s greatest for you largely relies on your physique and your particular targets. (Here is how one can get into yoga at any measurement.)
Nonetheless, quite a lot of confusion persists. To assist clear it up, we took a take a look at the science and consulted Luke Lombardo, AFAA licensed coach, RRCA run coach, and grasp coach at Lagree Health. Learn on as we set the document straight by debunking 7 frequent myths. (Acquired 10 minutes? Then you may shed weight for good with Prevention‘s new 10-minute exercises and 10-minute meals. Get began right here.)
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Delusion #1: You must at all times stretch earlier than you begin your exercise.
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One other half-myth right here. For commonest gym-goers and leisure athletes, dynamic stretching can loosen up the physique. Which may very properly make it simpler so that you can carry out sure workout routines, actions, or maintain sure poses, says Lombardo. “It will increase joint vary of movement, which in flip will help your muscle tissues be extra environment friendly.” The flip facet is that aggressive athletes would possibly really do worse in the event that they stretch first: Some analysis has discovered that sure varieties of stretching might impede some athletes, like sprinters, excessive jumpers, or weight lifters, as a result of they may find yourself overworking the muscle tissues they should carry out at their best possible.
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Delusion #5: In the event you stretched earlier than or throughout your exercise, do not hassle to stretch once more after.
In the event you’re in a rush, you will not essentially harm your self by skipping the stretch on the finish of a exercise. However when you have the time to suit it in, it is best to. “Stretching post-workout will cut back muscle soreness and fatigue, in addition to enhance blood circulation, which will help expedite the restoration course of,” explains Lombardo. Meaning you’ll exercise once more sooner.
After a exercise your muscle tissues are already heat at this level, so doing static stretches might enable you cut back soreness and fatigue, says Lombardo. For instance, chances are you’ll wish to maintain a calf stretch or hamstring stretch after going for a run.
Delusion #6: You’ll be able to’t over-stretch.
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Completely false. In the event you stretch a good muscle too intensely, you may find yourself straining or pulling it. “It is very important slowly start a stretch and give attention to frivolously lengthening into the stretch throughout an exhale,” says Lombardo. Do not pressure something that does not really feel proper or that causes you ache.
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Delusion #7: Stretching and foam rolling are the identical.
In contrast to stretching, foam rolling provides your muscle tissues a myofascial launch, so you may consider it as giving your self a deep tissue therapeutic massage. “Foam rolling can higher break down scar tissue in your physique, which can velocity up the physique’s restoration course of,” says Lombardo. “It may be argued that foam rolling has all the advantages of stretching and extra because it will get deep into your fascia, however stretching will result in better flexibility.” Translation: When you have the time to do each, it is best to!