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TOPIC: Stretching

Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9074

  • NickCCS
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Here we go; this should open up a can of worms. I am not looking for controversy (not at all), but I am wondering what all of you think about stretching.

Right or wrong (probably wrong), but here is where I stand on stretching:

I am not big on stretching and never have been. But, I do believe in stretching after a workout, especially when just getting started with weight lifting, or just back into it after a long break. Proper stretching does help relieve stiffness and soreness (another subject I have to share something significant on how to avoid and virtually eliminate, but later), and it does help maintain your range of motion. I do NOT believe in stretching before weight lifting as I believe it does weaken the muscles and makes them more prone to injury (there are finally even studies to back me up on this). I do believe in light warm up sets, 1 or more as needed, instead of stretching. I don't stretch much at all once I am into my regular workouts, past the first week or so.

I live in the same town as the man who wrote what many professionals (doctors, trainers and others) refer to as "THE book on stretching" The book is called "STRETCHING" and it is written by Bob Anderson. His wife created the illustrations, and his mom (now in her late 80's) is a wonderful older lady who I am good friends with. I don't really know Bob too well though. It is a very good and well illustrated book.

So you're thoughts?
Nick C. Casale
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9077

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I think stretching is important post-workout.

Recent studies have shown that stretching before working out or inbetween sets actually lessens the contrcation ability of the muscles - therefore you don't get as good a work out.

I like the Anderson book, but I also like the Wharton's Book of Stretching - they take a newer approach to stretching with movement much like AIS or PNF. I think yoga is also a good choice for stretching and lengthening muscles.

I consider my stretching after lifting to be the 'reward' after the workout.
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9081

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Interesting,

We'll I'll be the one to disagree....

I really believe in stretching pre-workout and during. I think one thing to take into consideration though, is that you need to warm up before stretching for it to be effective.

But take for example, bent over barbell rows. Without properly stretching your hamstrings you can't really get into proper position, or at least I can't anyway.

I'll see if I can find the source, but at one point a couple years ago I had also read that stretching in between sets promoted muscle growth.

I find too, especially on shoulder days that without stretching my shoulder in between sets they just get too tight and ache.

I'm also pretty strong believer in warm up sets and an acclimation set before getting into heavy lifting also. So generally I'll do my warm up sets and stretch in between then an acclimation set, then go into my heavy sets without stretching in between.
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9090

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Just found this Nick,

Very interesting excerpt that discusses your reasoning for not static stretching.

Looks like I'll be inserting foot into mouth here.

Use Dynamic Stretching Before Games & Key Practice Sessions


There are two main types of stretching; static (holding a stretching exercise in one position without movement) and dynamic stretching, which means moving while stretching (arm swings, knee rotations, neck circles).
Researchers show that athletes should not perform prolonged static stretching before the big game or a key practice session because this slows muscle activation for around an hour afterwards, (Reduced Strength After Passive Stretch Of The Human Plantar Flexors, 2000, Fowles). Using dynamic stretching is a wise pre-competition strategy.

Static stretching builds flexibility and should be performed regularly, just not immediately before a big game or a key practice session.


Warming up prior to a high-intensity, ballistic, athletic event is an absolute rule - never to be broken, and stretching can be combined (multi-tasked) as part of the warm-up.

The goal of the warm-up is to get the blood flowing and raise body temperature (one degree) prior to athletic competitions and high-intensity training.

It's desirable to have the athlete's muscle, ligaments, and joints experience the functional range of motion required of the sport during the warm-up.
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9104

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Thanx ussurf and mambear!

Here is an interesting exchange on stretching: http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/archive/index.php/t-87.html

Here's another one I just found: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/evan6.htm

Probably about like ours might turn out in the end.
Nick C. Casale
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9106

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Intersting topic Nick, I really learned something today!

thanks! :wave:
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9110

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I stretch occasionally but I'm always careful as I've injured myself before stretching which is very frustrating. And talking of injuries... I don't think much of ice-packs either.
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9121

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One more: http://www.thinkmuscle.com:80/articles/haycock/benefits-stretching.htm

Worth reading. I learned quite a bit today on this too.

Nick
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9131

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Recent studies have shown that stretching before working out or inbetween sets actually lessens the contrcation ability of the muscles - therefore you don't get as good a work out
We'll I'll be the one to disagree.... I really believe in stretching pre-workout and during. I think one thing to take into consideration though, is that you need to warm up before stretching for it to be effective
I have to respond that as in most things, the issue is goal dependent. When I was into martial arts, stretching prior to activity was critical and an athlete who failed to do so was asking for trouble.
As a strength athlete, I have found that stretching prior to a heavy lift actually lowers my max lift or number of reps.
As noted above, there are "authoritative" studies on both sides of this issue and I don't believe that the jury is truly in yet.

In the lack of "hard evidence", I tend to fall back on personal experience.
Good thread.

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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9136

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I stretch after. Why? Just because. And it's relaxing after pushing and pulling heavy things around. :)
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9140

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I never did any stretching to speak of until I dabbled in DC training. In that style of training you must do what are called "Extreme Stretches" after working each muscle group. These sorts of stretches are intended to stretch the facia around your muscles, allowing them to grow more. I have since incorporated them into my own Hybrid program. They are extreme - meaning for me, they hurt! Below is a link to some jpg's of the stretches I'm talking about.

http://server6.theimagehosting.com/image.php?img=extremestretches66.jpg
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9177

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Lift,

You're changing the parameters here a bit, but I think that was good. I am not talking at all about stretching as it's related to martial arts (and other sports), primarily weight lifting or bodybuilding. I know stretching is essential, and helpful, for many sports and activities. So thanx for adding that.

All,

And, I also agree, if it feels good and it's working for you, stick with it. Results and how you feel personally are probably the best measurement for you.

I do think there are a lot of things we do in life because someone thought it was the right thing to do and it was passed down for so long that it became "truth." For some reason I always challenged the wisdom of stretching before lifting weights, not because I was smart, but because for the most part I was just plain not doing it (got chewed out a lot), and when I did it, I saw the difference in my lifting capacity. Today there seems to be others who agree with me (who have done some research), so I feel pretty good that I am not so bad for not doing it. :) That doesn't mean I (or these others) am right, just that I now have some new company.

Justtryn,

That extreme stretching is mentioned in some of those links. I guess they seem to see the benefits of it.
Nick C. Casale
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9178

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NickCCS wrote:
Justtryn,

That extreme stretching is mentioned in some of those links. I guess they seem to see the benefits of it.

As you say, it appears from my own experience that stretching a particular body part before working it is not helpful, and actually is counter productive. With the extreme stretches, as part of a program to pack on as much mass as possible, I think it is helpful - again, just from personal experience and from talking with others who do DC style training. But these do not "feel good" and are for those who are gluttons for punishment. :D

Good thread - thanks for starting it.
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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9257

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Lift,

You're changing the parameters here a bit
Your right. For a brief period I did bodybuilding and full contact fighting at the same time and it was an easy stretch for me to include martial arts.

Thanks for keeping me in check.
Note to self - "stay on topic"

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RE:Stretching 6 years 2 months ago #9260

  • Jessica
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i do mild stretches in the morning for the OA
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