21 Jan Should I Stretch More?
Stretching is a complicated one to explain briefly, so here are just some of my views.. Firstly, WHY are you stretching?
“Because my muscles are ‘tight’”: Muscles can feel tight for different reasons, so it’s important you are choosing the best method to address it. For example, in some cases it’s actually strengthening the muscle (or muscles around it) that is required to decrease the tightness, so make sure you have seen a physio before you ramp up any stretching of a ‘tight’ muscle.
“For injury prevention”: the evidence does not support general stretching simply for injury prevention. Your time is better spent doing a proper warm up & incorporating strength training into your program.
“For recovery”: general stretching after activity can be a great part of your cool down and help increase flexibility, but it won’t decrease DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) like many think.
“Because my physio told me to”: Often we do prescribe stretching exercises to help address muscles imbalances, but it’s usually in combination with a strengthening exercise. So as I mentioned above, if you’ve got pain somewhere make sure you’re doing the right kind of exercises, rather than simply stretching more.
If you’re ever unsure, I recommend seeing a physio who can advise what’s the best approach for you and always be clear WHY you are stretching.
To find a physio in your area of Australia or New Zealand click here.