6 Myths About Stretching

Everyone seems to disagree on stretching, what works and what doesn’t? Myth or fact? Let’s debunk some myths.

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We’ve all been advised to stretch before and after training, to avoid muscle aches and injury, but does it work? You can find all sorts of stretching routines online, but how do you know which one is the best for you, and how and when should you do them?

Stretching Prevents Injury

The causes of injury are many and varied, ranging from pure bad luck, poor technique, to not warming up properly. There have not been any conclusive studies done on the relationship between stretching and injuries either. Stretching only reduces the risk of injury, but it does not guarantee that you will not get injured.

Stretching Prevents Sore Muscles

Sore muscles lasting a few days after a workout are due to microscopic tears in the muscle fibre, and stretching will not save you from the aching. Sore muscles are part and parcel of training and are bound to come if you train hard enough to develop your muscles. In fact, it may even be detrimental to stretch when you’re sore!

Stretching Should Hurt

For all those who subscribe to the saying ‘no pain, no gain’, it doesn’t apply to stretching. You may feel a slight discomfort when stretching, but it shouldn’t be painful. That would mean that you have over-stretched and achieved the opposite effect - tensing up the muscle instead of elongating and relaxing it.

Stretch Extra Long on Race Day

Static stretching with cold muscles before the race is not exactly a good idea. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that stretching hurts strength and power. It hinders speed and makes the race feel more tiring! Who knew?

Five Minutes of Stretching is Enough

Stretching is an important part of working out, even if it may not seem so critical. You should take at least ten minutes to do dynamic stretches and properly warm up your muscles before exercising. The same applies to cool-down stretches, only that static stretches are more appropriate in this case.

You Don’t Have to Stretch if You’re Already Flexible

Flexibility is like a muscle. To maintain it, you have to keep working it to maintain or improve it. You should stretch consistently, even if you’ve achieved your flexibility goals. Plus, maintaining your flexibility has benefits that impact your everyday life, even after you’ve retired as an athlete. 

We’ve all been advised to stretch before and after training, to avoid muscle aches and injury, but does it actually work?


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LIV3LY Editor
LIV3LY Editor

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