Stretching is good for ... stretching.

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    this appears to be the only benefit, that stretching makes you better at stretching. It does not reduce soreness. It does not reduce injuries. And it does not enhance performance. Moreover, it may be harmful.

    Yes, I do stretch. But I can't argue against the avalanche of evidence:

    http://saveyourself.ca/blog/0348.php
  2. your_perfect_enemy
    Offline

    your_perfect_enemy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,791
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,566
    This is interesting. It seems like it applies more to static stretching than whatever you call the alternative (I dunno moving stretching? ie swinging your arms and legs)

    I can see how it doesnt prevent injury. I dont get how they can measure soreness, if you stretch before and after a run and are minimally sore, how do you know you wouldn't be extremely sore. I guess what I'm trying to say is how do you measure how sore you'd be if you didnt stretch? Personally I feel much better after a run if I stretch and wake up feeling much better the next day than if I hadn't
  3. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    Good question on the soreness findings. I perused the study hoping for a clue. Found none. I was prepared to assume that there was a group who normally stretched after exercise ... and was asked not to stretch for the study, or perhaps the reverse as well.

    Yes, I believe that static-stretching is implied here. Although I can tell you I've injured myself static-stretching and also active-stretching.

    But I distinguish these from the types of movements which are generally recommended, nowadays, for pre-workout: dynamic movements like squats, lunges, arm-circles, etc.

    The warmup exercises I perform look more like strength movements than stretching movements. although they do have the effect of an active-stretch. Two examples: glute bridges work to activate the glutes but also have the effect of opening up the hip flexors a bit. Scapular wall slides do activate the lower traps but also have the effect of opening up the pec minors a bit.
  4. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    I say 'stretching is good for stretching' because I myself do a brief, yoga-like routine after my workout. And provided that I rein in my competitive instincts, and relax, I do increase my performance of a given, yoga-movement over time. It also feels good at the time. But this is a far cry from the usual claims for stretching.
  5. StrangeGator
    Offline

    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28,238
    Likes Received:
    544
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings Received:
    +1,570
    I can't imagine doing martial arts without stretching.
  6. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    Granted, whereas most people do not actually have to be flexible (and flexibility can be a liability for some), there are obviously some pursuits that require extra-normal flexibility. Certainly some forms of martial arts would fall in that category. Also, dancing and gymnastics.

    That said, I'm guessing that most martial arts practitioners do not acquire the necessary flexibility solely through static stretching alone. I suspect that actual kicking will get you there faster than endless, arduous hamstring stretching.

    As an example of what I'm suggesting, until recently I couldn't do a pistol squat because I couldn't extend my free leg sufficiently to get to the bottom. Essentially, pistol squatting forced my free leg to eventually extend sufficiently.
  7. JohnC1908
    Offline

    JohnC1908 VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    22,064
    Likes Received:
    778
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Neptune Beach, Florida
    Ratings Received:
    +788
    I've thought about getting into martial arts, and for reasons I don't even know I'm a little timid to try it out.
  8. LeafUF
    Offline

    LeafUF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,494
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Wandering
    Ratings Received:
    +392
    Give it a shot. A lot of places will do free intro classes to check it out. I get the bug every once in a while but never stuck with it. Too expensive and time consuming for me.
  9. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    I've had a smattering of martial arts myself along with a little boxing and wrestling. Still, if I got myself in trouble, I'd probably reach for a boiling hot pot of coffee or the nearest blunt object.
  10. GuyWhiteyCorngood
    Offline

    GuyWhiteyCorngood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +184
    Did you check out the thread I posted on mobility?
  11. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    Yes, and in fact I've incorporated one of Kelly's stretches into my post-routine. It's the rectus femoris stretch where you sort of back your leg up against the sofa and stretch your quads. I actually saw the stretch in Tim Ferriss' book.

    But I stretch for its modest benefits. Can't say that I believe in it like Kelly does.
  12. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    Undeniable stretching benefits:

    (1) Done properly ... it feels good ... at least at the time.

    (2) May actually be necessary to preform certain movements. Ex: I still need to work on my hamstrings a bit to accomplish something that looks like a credible pistol. Strength is not an issue here. It's lack of flexibility.
  13. your_perfect_enemy
    Offline

    your_perfect_enemy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,791
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,566
    I've thought about this thread a couple of times recently. What performance were they trying to enhance? When I skimmed it just said pre-excercise. because the more I think about it I call BS. When I was a swimmer in high school if I didnt stretch for a good 15 minutes before our workout I'd be completely useless and stopping every other set because my arms were sore or tight. When I play raquetball or basketball if I dont stretch it takes at least twice as long to "suddenly" change direction (it's still not sudden per se when I do stretch but it's definitely quicker). Hell I can barely even swing a golf club effectively without stretching.
  14. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    If I were to guess, the sample is mostly comprised of runners. But that's just a guess.

    Were you static or active stretching ? I can tell you that the standard advice now is active stretching before workout, static stretching after. I'm certainly with you in that I can't imagine launching into my workout without putting my joints through their paces. But I now do rhythmic or ballistic movements for this.

    I personally believe that stretching has psychological benefits.
  15. your_perfect_enemy
    Offline

    your_perfect_enemy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,791
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,566
    I was guessing it was running too, which I could see. I have almost completely stopped stretching before I run and have almost no aches or pains anymore other than just standard muscle fatigue, now this was also the time I switched to some of those minalmist shoes which I think played the largest role in that, but certainly don't feel held back from not strecthing.

    For swimming and golf it is a mix of active and static. Raquet and basket ball were pretty much just static.

    I definitely agree with you about psychological benefits. Sometimes after I run I can't even fall asleep without stretching and weather it physically relaxes me or not I certainly am able to fall asleep afterwards.

    it seems almost irresponsible of them to paint a broad stroke and say stretching doesnt help your performance or soreness
  16. GuyWhiteyCorngood
    Offline

    GuyWhiteyCorngood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +184
    He actually downplays stretching and considers joint mobility different. I notice a big difference when I spend time mobilizing my hips and shoulders before lifting. My deadlifts have been a problem because I'm tight in the hips and through my whole posterior chain.

    This has been great for my hips.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HomJymq0VZE
  17. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    I'd consider what he's doing in the video active stretching. It's the sort of stretching I incorporate into my warmup. some of these active stretches tend to blur the line between stretching and light strength movements. Ex: prior to pistol squats, I'm liable just to do some deep bodyweight squats. I don't consider squats a stretching exercise, per se. But when starting out stiff, they do increase range-of-motion momentarily.

    I suspect the studies I referenced pertain to static stretching prior to workout. I still see people doing a lot of that. Hehe, I trained a mother-daughter tandem awhile back. I prescribed a strength routine for them. And seems like every time I turned around they were down on the floor static stretching. Of course they were already human pretzels. At the same time, they were weaklings.
  18. Dreamliner
    Offline

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,426
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +2,328
    In fact, the author who compiled the studies is in favor of what he calls 'mobilizations', very low intensity, rhythmic movements, many repetitions, done throughout the day. But of course cats and dogs do this. They don't do anything akin to static stretching.
  19. mastoidbone
    Offline

    mastoidbone VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,239
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings Received:
    +18
    well.....it makes you taller.
  20. StrangeGator
    Offline

    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28,238
    Likes Received:
    544
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings Received:
    +1,570
    Best thing to do is look at videos of various martial arts to see what intrigues you the most. Personal preference is usually not about practicality or tactical applications, but what kind of movement is the most attractive. I'm not an aggressive individual, so karate or other kicking and punching forms were not interesting. Tried different forms of karate earlier in my life and they didn't stay interesting. I'd heard about Aikido and seen it in movies, but it wasn't until I looked at video clips online that I really got it. FWIW, Aikido is how I got back into fitness. Did it for five or six years and got to a point where I couldn't advance any more without improving my cardio fitness. Started working out two years ago and I've seen dramatic improvement in the dojo.

Share This Page