Sunday, 23 January 2011

Science vs Beliefs

There is a common sense that stretching (before or after doing sports) can improve sports performance, reduce muscle soreness or clear the lactic acid that builds up during exercise. Other people think that they become more flexible with stretching. And biggest problem is the word of mouth because most of what people thought about stretching doesn't have any scientific evidence.

I have been reading a few things and this is what I found:

There are many studies who prove that stretching before exercise does not have any benefit and sometimes can be detrimental to sports performance (most of these studies were made for stretching before explosive sports).

Some people believe that stretching after exercise can reduce muscle soreness or work lactic acid out of the muscles. Wrong. Stretching doesn't do any of these things. There are many studies that saw the effect of stretching after exercise and there are no results that show a decrease in muscle soreness or lactic acid.

More flexibility - yes. Daily stretching can lengthen muscles, giving you more range of motion around a joint. I usually have a 10 minute routine each morning after I wake up to stretch my neck, back and legs. Or you can stretch after being seated for a long period of time.

So the next time you stretch yourself think about this and do it because you heard someone saying that you must stretch after every training session. 

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