T Nation

Static Strecthing

For the last few years I have read that static stretching is best done when warm, after a workout. But recently I have been reading that it is best done when cold

Here is a link to some articles

http://www.hotbodytraining.com/the-low-down-on-static-stretching/

Does anybody knows anymore about this ? Thanks

Tjun Kiat

Both articles just say something about top coaches trying it. The first article uses an example that type hamstrings would limit hip flexion in sprinting, which it will not since the knee is also flexed during the hip flexion.

Come across any research articles?

Static stretching is certainly the best when warm. The three T’s of stretching are

Time
Temperature
Tension

You must hold the stretch for no sooner then 20 seconds and real no longer the 60… You’re wasting your time after that point. Your body needs to be warm for the Ogli-Tendon complex and the muscle spindle to register stress and release to it, and thats best done when the body is warm for the CNS. You must apply a certain amount of stress to the stretch; Hold it so it’s uncomfortable, not painful. Each day after consistent stretching you will become more and more flexible if you follow these guidelines…

Stretch after; warm up before

I perform very brief (15-20sec), light static stretches to my rectus femoris and piriformis before my dynamic warmup. This is done because it loosens up my muscles that are chronically overactive so I can perform the activation exercises correctly. No sense in trying to do the dynamic warmup if the right muscles aren’t getting worked. Then after the workout or at home I’ll do static stretches of 30sec where I think I need it.

The static stretching debate IMO is like foam rolling in that it comes down to personal preference. Make sure to get the work in somehow, but preferably when you feel it will do the most good for you.

[quote]Krollmonster wrote:
Both articles just say something about top coaches trying it. The first article uses an example that type hamstrings would limit hip flexion in sprinting, which it will not since the knee is also flexed during the hip flexion.

Come across any research articles?[/quote]

I am going to ask a converse question. Are there any research articles showing that stretching when warm is the best ?

teotjunk

Yoga is one example where stretching is done cold

quick question guys.

if you agree that static stretching is best done when your body is warm, would static stretching after a warm/hot SHOWER be acceptable?

i know it may sound stupid but after my shower at night i feel is the best time to static stretch.

thoughts?

[quote]Welcome2TRME wrote:
quick question guys.

if you agree that static stretching is best done when your body is warm, would static stretching after a warm/hot SHOWER be acceptable?

i know it may sound stupid but after my shower at night i feel is the best time to static stretch.

thoughts?[/quote]

Yes. The hot shower acts as a passive warmup of the body. Best time to static stretch besides postworkout.

This might be weird, but because i play high school sports and we stretch before every practice/game, if I don’t static stretch my muscles cramp.

Sounds like a low electrolyte problem. Be sure to drink adequate fluids and up your potassium intake(balance it with your sodium) to eliminate cramping.

[quote]Welcome2TRME wrote:
quick question guys.

if you agree that static stretching is best done when your body is warm, would static stretching after a warm/hot SHOWER be acceptable?
[/quote]

Yup, that is what I do.

Static stretching is good, but not before you do big lifts. Some studies (sorry no link) show that it decreases strength by several % points.

[quote]Canawda wrote:
Static stretching is good, but not before you do big lifts. Some studies (sorry no link) show that it decreases strength by several % points.[/quote]

Some reasons why shouldn’t do static stretching before weightlifting.