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Old 03-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
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Default Stretching is BS

Posting this for discussion. I have no horse in this race.

Stretching is B.S. by Menno Henselmans

T NATION | Stretching is B.S.

But over the last two decades or so, people have started to figure out that stretching isn't quite the holy grail of healthy training.

In summary, we've come to realize that stretching is limited in its use, and is not the panacea that every perky girl in form fitting yoga pants would have us believe. And with that, I'm here to deliver the coup de grâce.
Impressively Formal Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is directed at neurologically intact and asymptomatic individuals. Clinical populations should consult with their therapist before implementing the approaches advocated in this article.

For those not quite up to date with the advances in our knowledge of stretching, here's the short version.

Stretching, regardless of form, does not reduce muscle soreness.
Static stretching, whether before or after exercise, does not prevent and, in excess, may even cause performance injuries.
Static stretching of a muscle before exercise decreases its subsequent performance.
Static stretching does not increase strength or muscle gains from resistance training.
In line with these findings, the idea that stretching is good and more of it is better, has been replaced with the advice that we should do dynamic stretching before training and static stretching after. The dynamic stretching is intended to increase mobility and the static stretching to increase flexibility.

Moreover, it's generally accepted that we don't have to stretch every single muscle – only those that are excessively shortened as a result of training or daily activities.

This is fundamentally wrong.
Final Notes

Stretching is one of the great myths of the fitness industry. The facts are in, the jury has deliberated, and the verdict is clear: the usefulness of static stretching is severely limited.

Anyway, let no Testosterone-fueled man henceforth subject himself to more than five minutes of this tedious activity per day.

Take Home Messages

You can't increase a muscle's length by stretching it. You can only increase your neural stretch tolerance.
To increase flexibility, adhere to the specificity principle. Increasing passive ROM is best achieved by 30 seconds of static stretching in a position as close to the desired position as possible. Increasing active ROM is best achieved by performing the desired movement against a resistance over your maximal ROM.
Keep warm-ups short and to the point. Prepare your body for the specific task at hand.
If you want to change your posture, you need to become aware of it and correct it until holding your new posture becomes automatic.

Destroy That Which Destroys You

"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."

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