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WHEN SHOULD YOU STRETCH YOUR MUSCLES? BY GERARD BERENGUER

WHEN SHOULD YOU STRETCH YOUR MUSCLES? BY GERARD BERENGUER

THE PHYSIO’S TIPS ON WHEN TO STRETCH

The issue of stretching before training continues to cause controversy among athletes in different sports, but there are several scientific studies that show that stretching before sport is not good.

Personally, I participated in a study conducted by the Joaquim Blume High Performance Sports Center in which we were able to demonstrate that those athletes who stretched before training performed worse and had less muscle power than those who only performed an active warm-up, without any kind of passive stretching.

Stretching before training can lead to injury

What we need to keep in mind is that WARMING UP is not STRETCHING.

When we are stretching, the aim is to produce an elongation and internal tension of the muscle and tendon. This elongation puts the muscle in a relaxed state and results in a loss of tension, a tension that is necessary in order to perform a subsequent contraction.

Therefore, stretching before training carries a high risk of producing a muscle or myotendinous injury and diminishes our sports performance.

What should we do before training?

The aim before we start training is to increase muscle temperature and promote joint lubrication to increase the range of joint movement and muscle activation. This prepares the muscle to carry out the activity optimally and means we are in optimal conditions to prevent possible injuries.

This is achieved by performing dynamic joint movements and dynamic movements similar to those that we will be carrying out during the training.

Should we stretch after training?

Yes. This should be done gently and should not be painful. We should increase the tension applied little by little, as the muscle should return to a resting state progressively to avoid generating tears in the tissue due to excess tension in the fibres.


Benefits of stretching

 

  1. Reduces muscle tension
  2. Improves coordination, allowing freer and easier movement
  3. Increases the range of movements and maintains extensibility by avoiding chronic progressive shortening.
  4. Prevents injuries such as muscle contractures or cramps
  5. Promotes circulation by slightly widening the blood vessels
  6. Improve body awareness or kinaesthesia
  7. Facilitates muscle oxygenation

Text by Gerard Berenguer VillarrealPhysiotherapist and Osteopath DO, FisioCross founder.

 

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