T Nation

Stretching Injuries

Anybody here ever injure himself/herself and/or exacerbate an injury stretching? The reason I ask is that I think I may have done/may be doing just that. I have niggling hip flexor and hamstring injuries that won’t seem to get better. I’ve tried taking time off from weightlifting wherein the only stress these muscles experience is my daily stretching routine - in fact, I just took off this past week - but my injuries just don’t seem to get better. I stretch statically 4-5x/week and do so pretty aggressively (really push the ROM), but I never experience any real acute pain or tearing sensations. I’m thinking about not stretching at all this week to see if that helps. Any insight you can offer is most appreciated. Thanks!

philosophies differ, but i NEVER stretch until i have already warmed up. some people say the exact opposite though…

I think loosening up is good, but stretching hard just causes joint laxity and injuries. I was allways pulling something until I cut out stretching, and my flexibility has not suffered at all. After getting up out of bed or after sitting for a while, a light walk around and touching the toes, rolling the head and so forth is great, but doing Yoga won’t get you shit.

Try to seek a ART (active release technique) practitioner in your area. Works wonders for injuries like that.

I too had an annoying hip flexor injury, but I found that stretching helped. I did a concentrated phase of PNF stretching, combined with static stetching and good stretches in between sets (esp. sqauts). It just seemed to get better on its own… Ive never injured myself stetching, although I guess its possible if you strain the muscle too much while its cold.

If you have an injury such as a mild muscle strain, then stretching may be counter-productive. You need to rest that area, avoid applying heavy tension to it such as sub-maximal to maximal weights. Have you tried icing those areas? To speed up the recovery process, do some light activity (light weights or rythmic movements) where you are able to promote blood to the injured muscle. Only ever do aggressive static stretching when your joints are really warm (e.g at the end of a squat or leg session, try to stretch your hams, glutes and quads emphasising near max ROM). I’ve had hamstring injuries before and leg curls, rev hypers, sledding, ice and rest really speeds up recovery. Haven’t had a hip flexor injury though. Just don’t go to agressive with stretching an injured muscle. Hope this helps.