Stretching before exercise can be bad for you

Strange that the add at the bottom of this is the 'Secrets of Flexibility - learn how to make full splits and high kicks your second nature'.

Are google just taking the pi ss?
No, its true, but they're talking about stretching and holding it for longer than 5 seconds.

so still stretch just hold it for 5 seconds.
Don't do exercise and then you won't pull a muscle! :wink:
I've been doing dynamic stretching before my runs instead of static stretching.

I remember reading a pubmed article last year that said the same thing, stretching before squats decreases power output.
When I did my UKSCA coaching course earlier this year the message was "exercise through the full range of movement".

To achieve this you will have to stretch, but you have to warm up thoroughly before you start stretching and then you need stretch appropriately. Unfortunately a lot of what was taught even a few years ago can cause muscle and ligament damage.
A contraindicated exercise is a movement that is not recommended because it is potentially dangerous. It may involve:

* extreme movements that cause extension or flexion of a joint beyond its normal range e.g. full circle neck rotations, back arches, toe touches, deep knee bends and frog jump repetitions
* movements that involve excessive, rapid or repetitive twisting around a fixed base e.g. wall slaps, trunk rotations
* sustained or held movements, e.g. held sit-up
* repetitive movements e.g. arm circling through a small range of movement.
Dynamic stretching is important.

Also, I recommend the book by Thomas Kurz, 'Stretching Scientifically". I was always very inflexible, but it has helped me enormously with my kicking. Reading it made me realise how much time I had been wasting on pointless stretches.
msr said:
Researchers say stretching, considered an important part of any athlete's warm-up routine, can actually weaken muscles.

The habit of holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, known as static stretching, has been considered benefitial for priming muscles. However, scientists from the University of Nevada Las Vegas say this should no longer be encouraged.

Without wanting to sound like too much of pretentious twat - this is actually pretty old news and i'm surprised that the telegraph are reporting it now tbh. Dynamic stretching and movements that encourage correct muscle recruitment and posture are now the best ways to warm up, as stated above. Key thing for a lot of people is knowing the difference between a ballistic and a dynamic stretch, and not doing ballistic stretches!

Does the army still train you to statically stretch before exercise?
Stretching longer than 5secs also sends the muscle to sleep. I save stretching for after exercise. I just do a light run to get the blood flowing. Sometimes I don't even bother with that.....
Dynamic stretching is the shizzle. Use it a lot in Tae Kwon Do / Muay Thai.

There is a massive difference in an individuals type of flexibility and each should be emphasised to achieve a particular training goal.

Check out Ultimate Flexibility by Sang Kim for more info.

I usually bang out 100-200 dynamic stretches a day and saw massive improvements in my kicking technique right away.

If you are looking for a quick start.

Place your hand on a wall and throw 10 front kicks as high as possible, keeping the leg relatively straight.
10 side kicks
10 rear kicks
Repeat for the other side.

Emphasis should be placed on speed and trying to move through the entire range of movement, it helps if your foot does not return to the ground between kicks, but almost a pendulum like technique.

Repeat for every exercise session and you should see improvements in both your calf, hams, groin and hip flexibility.

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