Stretching – before or after a workout – or even at all?
|November 18, 2013||Posted by Carrie under exercise, injury, Uncategorized|
Stretching has become controversial in the fitness world lately. I’m trying to make sense of all the messages.
I watch my kids at their sports practices and they always stretch to warm up. Whether it’s soccer, basketball, dance or martial arts. Practice ALWAYS starts with stretching.
Yet, I read seemingly everywhere that you should stretch AFTER a workout – and sometimes it’s recommended to not stretch AT ALL (if you can stay injury free without it).
Even my dogs stretch – so it mustn’t be that bad.
(my blogger friend Amy from It’s All About the Journey from a Fitbloggin yoga session – she clearly stretches)
My kids have the benefit of young muscles that bounce back from wear and tear and stay rather injury free.
As an adult, most of us active people are hard pressed to avoid injury.
Who to believe? If that comparison is true – the kids are on the right track and it’s us adults that are doing it wrong.
My chiropractor – who is a certified Active Release Technique practitioner – recommends stretching several times a day to prevent adhesions in your muscles which causes imbalance which leads to injuries.
He agrees that you shouldn’t stretch cold muscles, but he qualifies that by saying that his definition of ‘cold’ muscles means get out of bed and stretch right away. He says that if you’re walking around a bit, your muscles are warm enough.
He also recommends balanced stretching. If you stretch your quads, you must also stretch your hamstrings.
He has me doing a routine of 5 stretches on each leg every day. Two quads and hamstrings to help my knee issues, a straight leg calf stretch and a lower calf stretch to help foot and PF issues. Each one for 30 seconds twice a day or 1 minute once a day.
I know that my knee pain is less the more regularly I stretch. As anecdotal as that research may be, it works for me.
My blogger friend Jill wrote a thought provoking article about stretching a while back. Talk about information overload. I think I’m just going to stick with what works for me.
Do you stretch?