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Spinoff: To stretch, or not to stretch...that is the question (Read 864 times)


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    Only pains I have ever had while running came from stretching cold. I have never had a flexibility related injury in my sporting life. The previous comment about starting slow, warming up and then taking the time to stretch is fine, but there is some scientific proof that muscles shut down after stretching, it is something to do with the 'on-off' switches built in to the human muscles. Keep limber by stretching well afterwards. New runners here? My advice is not guaranteed! Honestly, anyone out there doing stretching before a run, please try this....warm up with a slow 10 minute run. The start timing yourself for a race pace 5-10 k and I think you will be surprised at how you feel and perform. Peace out Dadz
      My 2 cents...I am recovering from ITBS. For the past month I stopped running and stretched, iced, and IBed (600 mg) twice daily. After all of that, I still couldn't run more than 1-2 miles before severe pain set in. For the past 1 1/2 weeks I haven't stretched at all and iced occassionally. For the first time, I ran pain free and am starting my running routine back. So...I'm wondering if all of the stretching actually contributed to more inflamation.


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        Are you stetching after your run? And if so, like we have all heard before, and i tis true...NO bouncing, No bobbing, No stretching 'til it hurts. Smile
        vicentefrijole


          So...I'm wondering if all of the stretching actually contributed to more inflamation.
          I think this makes sense... I've heard of stretching contributing to a constant "re-injury" (just getting out of bed in the morning can do the same thing, of course). However, whether you should stretch when you're injured and whether you should stretch when you're healthy (as a preventative measure) are two very different questions, in my opinion.
          vicentefrijole


            The previous comment about starting slow, warming up and then taking the time to stretch is fine, but there is some scientific proof that muscles shut down after stretching, it is something to do with the 'on-off' switches built in to the human muscles.
            Can you give us some more specific info? I've got a little physiology 'book-learnin' but I haven't ever heard of this 'on-off switch' idea. What exactly are they? And why do muscles shut down after stretching? Confused


            Needs more cowbell!

              link more another Interesting...I think I will start forgoing my pre-run stretching for a while to see how that works (and do a more thorough post-run stretch, instead). I currently walk about 7 brisk minutes before easing into each run, so maybe that's all I really need in terms of a warm-up. k

              Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                link more another Interesting...I think I will start forgoing my pre-run stretching for a while to see how that works (and do a more thorough post-run stretch, instead). I currently walk about 7 brisk minutes before easing into each run, so maybe that's all I really need in terms of a warm-up. k
                Interesting links. They do seem to confirm my own thoughts - and also confirm the fact that stretching is controversial. Did you notice the first link said don't stretch immediately after working out, while the second link said to stretch "immediately following exercise while the muscles are warm." Roll eyes I think in the end, like just about everything else, you'll have to experiment a bit and see what works for you. I do think the basics are right, though: warm up before you stretch, stretch gentle and easy and hold it, etc. One important point that might be missed in this thread is the dynamic versus static stretching; I think for most sports, dynamic stretching is increasingly being shown to be more effective (in other words, moving your body through stretching motions - like gentle leg raises - rather than sitting down and just stretching, as in doing the splits). When I was seriously into martial arts, it was dynamic stretching that made the difference. And there is one final questions to ask: what is the reason for your stretching? Are you stretching just to improve run performance - or to actually become really flexible? I think the answer makes a difference in how you stretch.
                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                -----------------------------


                Needs more cowbell!

                  Interesting links. They do seem to confirm my own thoughts - and also confirm the fact that stretching is controversial. Did you notice the first link said don't stretch immediately after working out, while the second link said to stretch "immediately following exercise while the muscles are warm." Roll eyes And there is one final questions to ask: what is the reason for your stretching? Are you stretching just to improve run performance - or to actually become really flexible? I think the answer makes a difference in how you stretch.
                  Yeah, don't you just love all the contradictory stuff...? *bashes head against nearest wall* I think I have always stretched to avoid muscle tightness and injury, but it looks like that's not necessary, perhaps. I think I'd be better off doing a session or two of yoga each week, instead. k

                  Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    Hey, Jake, what kind of MA were you into? I used to really enjoy taekwondo... that's how I tore my ACL, actually... and other stuff before that.

                    Roads were made for journeys...

                      Hey, Jake, what kind of MA were you into? I used to really enjoy taekwondo... that's how I tore my ACL, actually... and other stuff before that.
                      Taekwondo, just like you. Which is stupid. I have a great body ... for judo. Or wrestling. Anything but frickin' TKD. Taekwondo is made for thin, lanky, and flexible people. I am none of the above. But you get me point then - the stretching required for a nice axe kick or head high roundhouse kick to the face is different than the basic stretches required for running. And something I never mastered. But if you need someone to deliver a nice kick to the shin, I'm your guy. With a little warm-up and some breathing exercise, I can deliver a powerful spinning hook kick to the lower thigh. After that, call someone else. I'll be taking judo lessons.
                      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                        LOL! For self-defense, you only need to be able to hit the knee. Head kicks are great for tournaments but really really dumb for practical purposes. Kick the knee hard enough and even *I* can run away fast enough. Not that I want to put that theory to the test... ::shudder:: I remember back when streatching was considered a warm-up... Roll eyes Boy, that was a while ago..

                        Roads were made for journeys...

                        Mile Collector


                        Abs of Flabs

                          My 2 cents...I am recovering from ITBS. For the past month I stopped running and stretched, iced, and IBed (600 mg) twice daily. After all of that, I still couldn't run more than 1-2 miles before severe pain set in. For the past 1 1/2 weeks I haven't stretched at all and iced occassionally. For the first time, I ran pain free and am starting my running routine back. So...I'm wondering if all of the stretching actually contributed to more inflamation.
                          I'll accept your 2 cents, and add two more... My physical therapist explained to me that there is such a thing as over stretching, which would lead to inflammation. You want to ease into the stretch. When you feel a slight tension, that's when you should hold for 30 seconds. If you go beyond that, the muscle you're trying to stretch will actually tighten to protect itself and you'll get the opposite effect. I for one is definitely guilty of stretching too hard. I rarely stretch when I'm cold because it doesn't seem to do much good. Keeping limber definitely reduces injuries. Case and point, I went to PT to fix a hip flexor problem. They found it to be very inflexible. It explains why it's extra sore after speed workout. When you're sprinting, the hip flexor is stretched by the high leg kick. Since it was inflexible, it got inflamed from the hyper extension. I know there are contradicting evidence on running, so I'll go with what makes me feel good.
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