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Best Time to Stretch

when is the best time to strech, I know that some authors hear say that post workout static stretching does more harm then good so If someone had tight hamstrings when would be the best time to strech them out?

There are differing opinions on stretching just like there are differing opinions on anything else. If you feel that you need to stretch, then stretch. If you’re worried about a decrease in performance then stretch on your off days.

A good idea would be to get a solid warmup going before you do your working sets. I find if I do some light, slow, and controlled reps, I do better on the working set.

All other stretching is done at the end of my session.

Optimum for me-yet I don’t do it all the time- is when I wake up before I work out, after I work out and before I go to sleep. Stretching is calming feels good and is very beneficial and helps with injury preventiveness, and makes you an overall better athlete.

I tend to stretch after weights and HIIT sessions.

I stretch before my workout, between work sets, at the end of my workout, and before bed… but thats just me

i don’t do much stretching, just some simple stuff after my workout

I find gentle stretching done consistently throughout the day works much better then having a set time.

well what do all you guys say to people who say it futher breaks down the muscle and makes it harder to heal, this being only after a weight session

[quote]DanErickson wrote:
I find gentle stretching done consistently throughout the day works much better then having a set time.[/quote]

This is what I do. A lot of trainers and coaches say that multiple short stretching sessions throughout the day increase flexibility faster than one daily, all-encompassing session. Just giving the hams a quick, solid stretch a coulple times a day has done wonders for me.

[quote]crod266 wrote:
well what do all you guys say to people who say it futher breaks down the muscle and makes it harder to heal, this being only after a weight session[/quote]

I find it’s the opposite. It ‘breaks down’ the muscle, yes, but if you supply your body with proper nutrients (like high protein and BCAA’s for example) then the muscle will use more of those nutrients to build the ‘broken down’ muscle.

My 2cents.

You’ll find some extreme stretching at the end of DoggCrapp (DC) Training methods, which I find helps fill out my muscles.

[quote]shizen wrote:
Optimum for me-yet I don’t do it all the time- is when I wake up before I work out, after I work out and before I go to sleep. Stretching is calming feels good and is very beneficial and helps with injury preventiveness, and makes you an overall better athlete. [/quote]

^^^
probably the best advice you’ll hear.

I do Yoga on my off days. It may not be the most masculine activity in the world, but it’s get you really flexible and is a great active recovery.

[quote]Corrosion wrote:
I do Yoga on my off days. It may not be the most masculine activity in the world, but it’s get you really flexible and is a great active recovery.[/quote]

This is soo perfect coming from your avatar!

… and 6 months later Mad Duck notices something funny. It’ll be a pleasure having you around I’m sure.

I have to do brutal stretching postworkout or my week is a write-off from soreness

Charles Poliquin always warns against pre-workout stretching. I hear it from other sources as well.

It will decrease your strength and possibly invite injury.

Kevin Levrone tore his pec years ago benching 500 lbs. I remember watching a video of him warming up with 225, 315, 405.

He was well warmed up as he repped out all 3 sets, then his training partner from behind pulls his arms way back around and behind for a max chest stretch.

After all that, he did his heavy set with 500 lbs.

That’s crazy according to more recent research and this supposed habit was probably the reason he tore his pec.

I would tend to concur with most people having backgrounds in strength and conditioning, that pre-workout stretching is likely to do the following:

(1)Decrease strength in both concentric and eccentric portions of lifts

(2)Increase the potential for injury, i.e. muscle tear, tendon/ligament damge, joint inflammation, etc.

I believe the reasoning behind this is quite simple. To loosen a muscle you intend to move against a resistance is akin to heating a rubber band before pulling it apart. Our muscles naturally ‘rebound’ as it were, due to the nature of our physiology. However, a stretched muscle has a decreased “rebound potential” to put it in an analogous term.

A rubber band that has been heated is more prone to stretch apart, just as a muscle is easier to resist against when stretched

Similarly, a rubber band that has been heated is more likely to overstretch and rupture, i.e. our musculoskeletal system when we do 20 minutes of static before a set of snatches.

However, I believe that most of those same people would agree that post-workout stretching is optimal, as you no longer need to be deadlifting 400lbs with your hamstrings.

Even better, there has been research suggesting pwo stretching as having benefits to the fascia, i.e., stretching it and increasing the pwo hypertrophy potential.

Otherwise, if not working out on a particular day, I would suggest stretching whenever feels best for you. Also, stretching before long distance running (eww) is fine, but before HIIT and sprints may be counterproductive, as the latter requires explosive strength and the former does not

I’ve been warming up with dynamic stretches, basically aerobic exercise that encompasses some mild stretching, and it seems to do the trick. Post-workout static stretching all the way though. I’ve seen both opinions that it causes more damage and increases recovery time or it causes more damage and thus causes more muscle growth.
I also think I’m gonna go back to morning stretching when I have an afternoon session, as it wakes me up quite well.

Most of the research states that post workout stretching helps improve flexibility and is the best time to stretch.

Static stretching is a neurologically muscle relaxing activity. So if you static stretch before or during your workout you are actually inhibiting your ability to exert full force in your workouts due to this neurological effect. So you will actually be weaker in a workout if you stretch before or during.

However, ballistic stretching before a workout does not have this same effect.