T Nation

Streching or Not? Isn't this contradicting?


#1

Hi

Stretching is recommended during workout, which I also believe is beneficial:
http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/172cheat.html

But I did read this on another article in this site:
"The static stretching prior to benching decreased both power and velocity by nearly 25%!"
" ... the recent proliferation of data showing that static stretching impairs muscle strength"
http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/272real.jsp

Isn't this contradicting?

Could it be that stretching temporarily impairs power during the work out. But as long as the muscle is socked and worked, the benefit is the same. And we should stretch anyway to protect ourselvs from injuries? Can somebody explain this please?

Thanks
Bob Pit


#2

This is one of those things that the 'experts' are gonna argue about until they day they die... And they still won't have an answer.

I think the original studies that showed stretching can reduce strength had subjects stretch for like an hour or more, which is unrealistic anyway.

If you feel better stretching before the workout, go for it; I don't think it'll significantly hamper your performance. You're just going to have to experiment with it.


#3

This is where you have to evaluate the strength of each arguement.

1)Look at the dates of each article -things change very quickly.

2)You're looking at subjective comments from one strength coach, versus scientific studies (recently less than an of hour stretching).

3)Look at the subjective differences between what kind of stretching (ie how long is "prolonged") will reduce muscle strength. This will eliminate all differences in opinion almost immediately.

Cheers!


#4

Do the dynamic and PNF stretching before workouts and static stretching AFTER workouts.


#5

Ryan wrote:

I think the original studies that showed stretching can reduce strength had subjects stretch for like an hour or more, which is unrealistic anyway.
<<<
Well, I tried to find the study but I could not find it. This would have cleared things up. Would you know where we can find them?

The article that advices streching before workout is dated January 2000:
http://t-mag.com/html/89lazy.html

The article that goes against stretching is from the May 2003 anual conference of ACSM
http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/272real.jsp

Tungsten wrote:

Do the dynamic and PNF stretching before workouts and static stretching AFTER workouts.
<<<
Could you tell me why? Any articles I could read as to why you propose this?

Thanks
Bob Pit


#6

My exercise phys teacher cited a number of studies that I am too lazy to look up right now.

The moral of his story was that PNF impaired power most, static was almost as bad and dynamic stretches were best. The residual effects of reduced performance were seen for up to an hour after stretching.

So do dynamic mobility (hurdles etc) first, and static stretch or PNF afterward.


#7

like somebody else said i think its rather personal. for me, if i do not stretch i do not perform as well. For instance, just 40 minutes ago i was attempting some dunks after a few games of basketball without stretching and i couldnt get over the front of the rim. after some stretching, no problem.

just do what works for you.


#8

On a related note, can someone point me to good articles on stretching after workout (different kinds of stretches, how long to stretch, when to stretch etc.)

thanks,


#9

depends what you are doing.
-Stretch before rugby? Hell yeah!
-Stretch before heavy lifting? I dont.


#10

I think Joe Defranco has some info on his website but he has his own way, I mean he doesnt do static stretching till 4,5 hours after workouts. He does dynamic and PNF stretching before workouts. Thomas Kurk's Scientific Stretching goes into details. Pavel T. also has books over them (I read them at the stores).

Dynamic stretching wakes up your muscles.
Static stetching puts your muscles to sleep.

Nuff said!


#11

EQI ISO stretches nuff said


#12

http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/footballspeed2.html

It should give you an idea how they are done... here's what Kelly B wrote about stretching in his article Football Speed
Part II..

"Flexibility
To be able to perform you'll need to have an optimum range of motion which is determined in large part by your level of flexibility.

Dynamic flexibility is the ability to move a joint through a full range of motion using muscular assistance or with movement. Throwing a kick above your head is an example of this. You can also call this type of flexibility "active flexibility."

Static flexibility is the ability to stretch without any momentum or muscular assistance. Sitting in place and doing the splits is an example of this.

It turns out there isn't always a good correlation between static flexibility and dynamic flexibility. That is, you might not be very flexible when doing the splits (static flexibility), yet still might be able to kick well above your head (dynamic flexibility). The reverse can also be true. You might see someone with very good static flexibility, yet not very good dynamic flexibility.

What's more, performing static flexibility prior to a workout has been shown to lead to a decrease in strength in that workout. Too much static flexibility work can also have a negative influence on reactive strength. An overly flexible muscle-tendon complex can dampen the reactive reflex, or spring-like effect. The muscle-tendon complex needs an optimal stiffness in order to function optimally. Since the type of flexibility you need in football is dynamic anyway, I recommend you focus the majority of your time in achieving optimal dynamic flexibility. Some static flexibility work can be beneficial, but it should only be done after your workout and never before. The following dynamic flexibility workout will greatly assist you in achieving and increasing the range of motion necessary to have awesome football speed. Perform it at least 3 times per week along with a good general warm-up.

Overspeed quick toe touches x 20 reps

Dynamic bodyweight lunges forward x 10 reps per leg

Dynamic bodyweight lunges side to side x 10 reps per leg

Wide stance bodyweight speed squat x 20 reps

Walking forward heel to toe bend over and touch the ground with each step x 20 reps

Crescent kicks outside to inside x 10 reps per leg

Crescent kicks inside to outside x 10 reps per leg (with your leg straight and knee completely locked kick and make a big circle with your leg - you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings)

Back leg roundhouse kicks- x 10 per leg

Duck under hurdles (real or imaginary hurdles)- x 10 each direction (imagine a row of 10 hurdles. Moving horizontally duck low under each hurdle and rise up between them)

Duck under hurdles with twist- same as above but twist 180 degrees in between each hurdle

5-10-5 drill forward/back- run forward 5 yards/backward 5 yards/forward 10 yards/backward 10 yards/forward 5 yards/backward 5 yards

Pro agility- stand in the middle of 2 cones or marks set 10 yards apart - Run in one direction 5 yards to one cone and then reverse direction and run 10 yards back to the opposite cone and then reverse direction and run back to the middle where you started..."