Why Do People Stretch Before/After Their Training Session?

AsapSCIENCE tells us whether stretching helps.

Stretching is commonly performed prior to a workout/training session and afterwards for cool down. But do you know why people do it?

Benefits of stretching:

  • increased range of motion
  • increased flexibility
  • promotion of circulation
  • increase stamina
  • reduced soreness
However, depending on the type of sport that you do, you may or may not benefit from stretching.

For example, as explained in the video from AsapSCIENCE, sports that require wide ranges of movement, such as figure skating will benefit from stretching as athletes will need a lot of flexibility. Whereas those who do more of a 'power' type sport, may have decreased muscle strength due to the muscles being lengthened.

Different types of stretches

There are also different types of stretches, including static, dynamic and ballistic stretching.

Static stretching

Bringing your joints as far as you can comfortably, and holding it for around 30-60 seconds.

Ballistic and Dynamic stretching

These types of stretches involve movements of the joints, as the names suggest. Ballistic stretching is characterised by fast, ballistic movements of your joints, taking them beyond your range of motion. This type of stretching can be dangerous, as fast, forceful movements may lead to injuries such as a muscle tear. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is safer than ballistic stretching as the movements are a lot more controlled.

Final tips?

If you perform stretches, make sure you pace yourself. Slight discomfort felt in the stretches areas is fine, but make sure you avoid going past pain! Contact us on 1800 800 118 or email us on admin@msphysiotherapyaustralia.com for more information about the type of stretches you should be doing.    

References

Dynamic & Static Stretching Exercises. [online] LIVESTRONG.COM. Available at: https://www.livestrong.com/article/466280-dynamic-static-stretching-exercises/ [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].
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