Correct static stretching involves taking a muscle to it’s normal range or motion (when the “stretch reflex” gets tripped) and then wait in that position until the nervous system eventually stops triggering the stretch reflex and the muscle relaxes.
You then increase the stretch more, until again the stretch reflex is triggered, wait until it relaxes and continue this process until you actually feel pain, numbness, or spasms.
At this point you want to terminate the stretch, as you’re not going to be able to go any further into the stretch safely.[/quote]
First of all, be careful about confusing the term “correct” with “academically proper”. I know the textbook definitions. Is it “correct” not to eat more than 50g Protein/day because that’s what the textbook claims? Is it correct that full squats are “bad for the knee’s” because that’s what textbooks claim?
Static stretching involves taking a muscle to the limit of it’s normal ROM, which you did not mention. From there, you can either “wait for the nervous system to shut off”, as the textbooks recommend, or you can simply physically elongate the tissues, the same as if you were performing body work on yourself.
I can assure you that the vast majority of people who stretch are using the second method.
Other forms of stretching (like PNF) involve contracting the desired muscle isometrically and then using the contrast in tension/fatigue of the muscle to be stretched, to allow you to reach a greater ROM.
Both PNF and static stretching have more to do with overriding the nervous system than they do with actually elongating the muscle itself.[/quote]
PNF certainly does. Static stretching, not so much, for the reasons I mentioned. If you read Pavel Tsatsouline’s book on stretching, one of the reasons why he doesn’t like statics is because they “physically elongate the tissue”, rather than making the nervous system tell it to relax. He doesn’t like it because he’s a PNF guy.
Extreme/weighted stretching is designed to stretch the fascia/connective tissues surrounding the muscles, which is the same concept behind soft tissue work (foam rolling, deep tissue massage, ART).[/quote]
AND can also be the concept employed with passive static stretching. We’re not too far apart on this issue.
No, it’s not. And no the stretch reflex fires when the golgi tendon organs sense that there is too much tension in the muscle. This is a protective mechanism to protect the body from injuring itself.[/quote]
Muscles can’t relax when you’re in pain. What I wrote was correct.
Stretching after your workout means that your muscles will be less able to resist the stretch, not to mention that the muscles are already plenty warmed-up which makes it easier to move them through a full ROM.[/quote]
If your muscles are already able to move through a full ROM then you haven’t got a flexibility problem, have you? It stands to reason that stretching at this time will have no acute benefit whatsoever.
I guess this boils down to whether we are stretching for acute or non-acute benefits. I stand on the side of the old school dogma in favoring acute benefits, while the new-fangled research says it should be done to condition the nervous system for chronic benefits.
It can be beneficial to perform static stretches prior to working out in certain contexts. For instance, it would be okay to stretch out the chest/shoulders prior to squatting if it made it easier to position yourself under the bar.
But, stretching the muscle(s) you are about to train is a bad idea. It doesn’t translate to increased power output because static stretching is basically telling the nervous system to relax and basically decreases the nervous system’s ability to stimulate the muscles to contract.[/quote]
Once again, it need not do such a thing. I have never noticed any “decreased power output” in workouts from prior static stretching.
Try telling someone who is perpetually in pain that “they’ll be weaker” if they stretch before lifting. These people HAVE to stretch before or their bodies won’t allow them to do anything.
It’s not a matter of static stretching or nothing, or that static stretching is the only method of improving mobility.[/quote]
I know. But I still advocate static stretches, along with active mobility drills.
[quote]Sneaky weasel wrote:
“Data were collected from 20 elite female soccer players.”
Oxymoron. This is why Pubmed is such a joke to people who actually train.
“On the first day, the athletes in the no-stretch condition completed a standard warm-up protocol.”
Standard for whom? The aforementioned “elite female soccer players”? Or standard for a weight lifter who reads T-Nation, is in tune with his body, and understands basic principles of muscle physiology? These things make a difference.
“Fourteen men ((mean +/- SD) age, 25 +/- 4 years) performed two isometric leg flexion maximal voluntary contractions at knee joint angles of 41 degrees , 61 degrees , 81 degrees , and 101 degrees below full leg extension. EMG (muV) and MMG (m x s(-2)) signals were recorded from the BF muscle while PT values (Nm) were sampled from an isokinetic dynamometer.”
In other words, nothing undertaken in this study had any resemblance to real life. Enough said.
Pubmed research studies: The art of saying nothing in as many words as possible.
My advice to anyone who enjoys reading this crap is to learn how to employ the empirical method in your own life, so that you won’t be forced to rely on cheap sources to get your fix of pretending to be a scientist.