Stretching before excercise a bad thing?
Today at my Karate class we lined up as per usual and then went straight into sparring drills. After ten minutes of this I asked if we were going to stretch soon as high kicks seemed a bad idea when not stretched. My instructor told the class he had spoken to a highly qualified fitness coach who told him stretching before an activity had been shown to be a bad thing. Recent studies had shown it was better to warm up and do "ballistic stretches" which as far as I could make out involved swinging your leg up into the air like a slow axe kick. We went through the entire session without fully stretching. When I questioned my instructor he admitted he forgot to stretch the class at the end like he planned but assured me it wasnt necessary to stretch each session.
I wondered what your thoughts were on this as this is the first time I have heared of this and it didnt seem to make sense to me.
Well at least you're warming up. Do you do stretches as a part of the cool down?
I've heard something about not doing full stretching before an intense athletic event (sprints I think) and how it helps performance, but not stretching out fully before regular training sounds like a recipe for disaster.
I didnt fully understand. Something about overstretching the muscles. Also odd we've been doing this for three years at our club plus the many years he's been teaching in other places and theres been no issues with the old stretching method.
Originally Posted by Phrost
Edit - no cool down. Never done a cool down in the club its just session over go home.
Damnit, i had an article on this. where the **** is it?!?! *digging through mountain of paperwork* Damnit!
Phrost is, as usual, correct.
Basically the weight of evidence these days says that stretching doesn't prevent injury, and cuts peak strength. The only reason to stretch is if you want to be more flexible.
Search Pub med for 'stretching injury prevention' for an overview.
Flexibility though should prevent injury.
Stretch after class, not before it. The gains will be greater because you're all warmed up/your muscles are tired; you can do a bit of relaxing introspection about why your butterfly guard sucks so hard; and you won't cut your perfformance during training.
Warm-up and do "ballistic" (gently swinging limbs in increasing arcs) before, then spend some time and do hardcore "static" (i.e., traditional) stretches after, holding stretches for a minute or more. The result: max muscle power for your workout and increased flexibility over time.
(This is my book report on Thomas Kurz's Stretching Scientifically.)
Originally Posted by Hedgehogey
Originally Posted by Kidspatula
But a little bit of light stretching as part of a warmup can't really hurt. Those "ballistic stretches" actually help a lot in this respect.
Originally Posted by viator
Of course, stretching is a necessary part of the cool-down.
That's more or less what I've read as well. I know I've seen the pubs somewhere, even in the Yahoo news. A good warmup and light stretch should be the way to go, followed by your regular training, followed by more stretching as a cool down.
Originally Posted by PointyShinyBurn
That's all assuming the individual is flexible enough for the training he/she is doing. When that's not the case, additional stretching is needed. And for the reasons mentioned, it should be done separately from training (.ie. a light morning warmup followed by more intense yet careful and gradual stretching.)
What people fail to realize is that stretching is an exercise; it takes energy and effort. Doing intense, prolonged stretching will dent your performance. And if you are seriously inflexible, prolonged stretching before your training will not fix your inflexibility and will make you more tired than necesary (a recipe for injuries).
Any additional or remedial stretching should be done separate from/after regular training.
-- EDIT --
Just as a sidenote, for those who are dangerously inflexible (can't reach below their kneecap, place their chest on their quads or touch a shoulder with the fingertips), they should seriously devote serious time in stretching, preferably in a yoga or pilates class.
Last edited by Teh El Macho; 3/14/2007 8:13pm at .
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