Static Stretching Decreases Muscle Strength

Posted on November 11, 2008  Comments (2)

Stretching: The Truth

Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds – known as static stretching – primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them.

A well-designed warm-up starts by increasing body heat and blood flow.

To raise the body’s temperature, a warm-up must begin with aerobic activity, usually light jogging. Most coaches and athletes have known this for years.

Athletes who need to move rapidly in different directions, like soccer, tennis or basketball players, should do dynamic stretches that involve many parts of the body. “Spider-Man” is a particularly good drill: drop onto all fours and crawl the width of the court, as if you were climbing a wall.

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2 Responses to “Static Stretching Decreases Muscle Strength”

  1. Anonymous
    November 12th, 2008 @ 12:52 am

    I’ve been an athlete ever since I was a little kid. The days I feel the best are definitely days when I start my workout with a nice jog to warm up, instead of simple stretching. I never understood why, but now I’ve made the connection. It really seems to make sense! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject and enlightening us all.

  2. Khaled
    November 12th, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

    That’s a whole generation of athletes that will have to be re educated if that’s true. You just have to watch tv coverage of a marathon to see 100’s of competitors warming up by static stretching before a race.

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