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  1. #1
    Registered User Fbomb1990's Avatar
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    stretching unnecessary?

    I've been reading alot about the ineffectiveness of stretching. ALot of what I've been reading says that you gain more flexibility through the exercises themselves and that stretching could even cause adverse effects. Traditional wisdom says that you should always stretch before and after a workout. Do you guys think stretching is important or not?
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    Viva la Vulva womanoid's Avatar
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    Ineffective at what? What have you been reading?

    Traditional wisdom is to dynamic stretch before workouts, and static stretch after workouts. They perform 2 different functions. Dynamic stretching before a workout warms up your joints through their working ROM. Static stretching afterwards ease the contraction and help you maintain, or if pushing harder, gain, flexibility. If you don't static stretch, you will get stiff. So if maintaing a full ROM is important to you, than stretching is important. If you don't mind your ROM slowly decreasing over time, then save yourself 5-10 minutes a day.
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  3. #3
    Registered User nykwan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fbomb1990 View Post
    I've been reading alot about the ineffectiveness of stretching. ALot of what I've been reading says that you gain more flexibility through the exercises themselves and that stretching could even cause adverse effects. Traditional wisdom says that you should always stretch before and after a workout. Do you guys think stretching is important or not?
    Depends on what you want. I'm big on keeping flexibility. In my mind, I work out to look good, feel good...everything it was to have that young body since I'm now older.

    And for me, keeping the body young isn't just having muscle mass, and leaness. We were all alot more flexible when we were young. So I've been stretching alot to regain and maintain my flexibility. Its harder to get when your older, so I say to stretch now and keep stretching as part of your routine and keep it when your older. You'll thank yourself.

    But I usually stretch after the workout, when everything is really warmed up and filled with blood. I only kinda 'loosen' up before lifting.
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  4. #4
    Registered User kenethleclair's Avatar
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    stretching is unnecessary for lifting weights...but a warm up set wont hurt ya
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    I've gone for prolonged periods of doing both.
    I started off not stretching before lifts and have since switched to a 15 minute stretch.

    My injury rate has gone way down since I've started incorporating stretching before a routine.
    Anecdotal evidence I know but I'm convinced that it works for me.
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    Originally Posted by Fbomb1990 View Post
    I've been reading alot about the ineffectiveness of stretching. ALot of what I've been reading says that you gain more flexibility through the exercises themselves and that stretching could even cause adverse effects. Traditional wisdom says that you should always stretch before and after a workout. Do you guys think stretching is important or not?
    Stretching is very important. It helps perfuse your muscles with blood, increases mobility, releases tension, alleviates stiffness and many other things. You also tend to lose flexibility as you age, so being flexible from an early age will benefit you during older age.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Fbomb1990's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachpalmz View Post
    Stretching is very important. It helps perfuse your muscles with blood, increases mobility, releases tension, alleviates stiffness and many other things. You also tend to lose flexibility as you age, so being flexible from an early age will benefit you during older age.
    yea I see your point as well as some others points that stretching will help later in life. It's hard to see the importance being only 22, but you are definatly right about the importance of lifting. I am more into big heavy compound lifts like the deadlift and squat and I've heard that the added elasticity is actually bad for heavier lifting. If anybody could explain why this is that'd be great.
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  8. #8
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    I think actually static stretching before a work out is beneficial after a general warm up. A lot of the studies suggesting that static stretching hurts muscle contractility were done in cases where the subject would stretch for 90 seconds or longer. Subjects stretching for 20-30 seconds at a time for a few sets after warming up experience much improved flexibility compared to people who do dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is good as part of a specific warm up by static stretching is better for flexibility.
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  9. #9
    I lift for the applause L69's Avatar
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    i stretch after every workout

    if i stop doing it for longer than a week or two, i get injured. simple as that
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  10. #10
    Registered User Krayg's Avatar
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    I have my own warm up routine before I start a work out and I regularly stretch after each work out don't know if it's doing anything but it only takes like 5 or 10 minutes.
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  11. #11
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    What I do now is concentrated warmups say Im doing squats using 275 lbs. I'll start with the bar doing 5 reps then ill continue to add 50 pounds and drop 1 rep and continue that until I reach my desired weight. I also like to do light weight, or no weight movements to warm up such as lunges, pushups, or on deadlift days very very light good mornings.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Fbomb1990 View Post
    What I do now is concentrated warmups say Im doing squats using 275 lbs. I'll start with the bar doing 5 reps then ill continue to add 50 pounds and drop 1 rep and continue that until I reach my desired weight. I also like to do light weight, or no weight movements to warm up such as lunges, pushups, or on deadlift days very very light good mornings.
    Yea so before you start doing this i would just take 5 minuets to stretch your muscles and work on flexibility
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    right now im high on stretching through the movement, for instance ill do a couple of light sets. I might do a shoulder or hip circuit depending if its upper or lower body day. never been a fan of static stretching preworkout.

    I do believe in post workout static stretching though.
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  14. #14
    The true Alpha Male Apollo 13's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pkahnman View Post
    Yea so before you start doing this i would just take 5 minuets to stretch your muscles and work on flexibility
    and you'll lose strength doing this. I use to stretch all the time before workouts and didn't notice my strength lost until some older guy told me about this. I was doing squats and he told me just to warm up with the bar and a light weight instead of stretching and see an improvement and wait until after working out to stretch. I called BS but gave it a try since i'm a open minded guy. My lifts went up but I wanted to test that theory and did my normal stretching on legs before my workout the following week. My lifts were back to what is was before, so following week just did what the old man said and lifts were back up. I've been doing it this way for 4 years now and will never go back to stretching before my lifts...well on top of reading studies about stretching before exercise can cause you to get an injury. Glad I never got injured during track because I sure did stretch a lot then.
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    Registered User BombDonald's Avatar
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    It's a loaded question as to what you need to do for flexibility. Everyone should do flexibility work to some degree or another.
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    Dynamic stretching before the workout and static a couple hours after and on rest days.

    The reasoning I was provided with was that if you static stretch before a workout you are pulling the muscle out of its normal rom and weakening the muscle and then during the exercise you are putting stress on the overstretched muscle and that can lead to injury. If you static stretch without exercising then the muscle slowly adapts to this new position and provides increased rom.
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    I do developmental stretches at the end of a cardio workout for my muscles that get tight from running: glutes, hams and calves.

    When I'm doing interval training at the track, I'll do dynamic stretching to warm up and check everything's working OK before I start speed work.

    I always warm up on the treadmill before lifting. The most important thing before lifting is to be warmed up - and there are plenty of other ways you could achieve that - dynamic stretching is one.

    To maintain flexibility, lifting should be sufficient, providing you're working to the full range of motion on your exercises. Then I wouldn't bother with static stretches at the end of a lifting session. But you might have specific joints where you're looking in increase your flexibility, in which case static developmental stretches at the end of a workout are ideal.
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    Originally Posted by DeltaCharlie75 View Post
    Dynamic stretching before the workout and static a couple hours after and on rest days.

    The reasoning I was provided with was that if you static stretch before a workout you are pulling the muscle out of its normal rom and weakening the muscle and then during the exercise you are putting stress on the overstretched muscle and that can lead to injury. If you static stretch without exercising then the muscle slowly adapts to this new position and provides increased rom.
    What if you need that extra ROM in order to do the exercise correctly?
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    I stretch in the morning and before/during my lifting sessions. All dynamic.
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    Originally Posted by BombDonald View Post
    What if you need that extra ROM in order to do the exercise correctly?
    Good point. I'm struggling with front squats at the moment, because I don't have sufficient ROM in my wrists. Sometimes where you need the extra flexibility is not in the same joint as the prime mover for an exercise... in fact, I'd appreciate any developmental stretch recommendations for that... but that's one for a new thread
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  21. #21
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    static stretching won't improve rom at all, unless you're doing holds of 30 minutes not seconds. foam rolling, dynamic stretching and mobility drills are far superior
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    Originally Posted by Apollo 13 View Post
    and you'll lose strength doing this. I use to stretch all the time before workouts and didn't notice my strength lost until some older guy told me about this. I was doing squats and he told me just to warm up with the bar and a light weight instead of stretching and see an improvement and wait until after working out to stretch. I called BS but gave it a try since i'm a open minded guy. My lifts went up but I wanted to test that theory and did my normal stretching on legs before my workout the following week. My lifts were back to what is was before, so following week just did what the old man said and lifts were back up. I've been doing it this way for 4 years now and will never go back to stretching before my lifts...well on top of reading studies about stretching before exercise can cause you to get an injury. Glad I never got injured during track because I sure did stretch a lot then.
    Ill try this and see
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    Originally Posted by BombDonald View Post
    What if you need that extra ROM in order to do the exercise correctly?
    Should you be forcing your muscles into a unnatural state just to perform an exercise or should you develop the muscle flexibility beforhand to allow you to perform the exercise?
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    Originally Posted by Fbomb1990 View Post
    I've been reading alot about the ineffectiveness of stretching. ALot of what I've been reading says that you gain more flexibility through the exercises themselves and that stretching could even cause adverse effects. Traditional wisdom says that you should always stretch before and after a workout. Do you guys think stretching is important or not?
    Absolutely not. Stretching before working out is up for debat as to if it makes one more flexible..although it should be done and the kind of stretching that should be done prior too and after will come down to your goals/activity/and current flexability. Certain types of stretches done before can actual hamper your workout and some kinds will help. Differant kinds of flexability consist of static(what you see most people doing), active, and functional stretching. The kind of stretching done before exercise will prepare the body in a differant ways that enable it to be more proficient for the upcoming exercise...Stretching after a workout should DEF be done for this is when you take the muscle and stretch it back to its normal resting length and help prevent it from becoming overactive or tight.....there's also foam rolling which is a whole other type of stretching/self massage that's great also....just stretch even if it is kinda boring.
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    Originally Posted by DeadliftDOMS View Post
    .there's also foam rolling which is a whole other type of stretching
    Why do people believe that foam rolling stretches the tissues being compressed. This is a very unusual thought as there is typically no change in joint position or alteration in the fascial chain connective system that attaches to that structure. Take the IT band, for instance. To stretch it, you have to straighten your knee, abduct, lightly flex and internally rotate the hips. In this position, applying foam rolling doesn’t actually produce any further change in length to the band.

    Anyway, I stretch every now and then. Usually a little active stretching before getting down to business.
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    Originally Posted by DeltaCharlie75 View Post
    Should you be forcing your muscles into a unnatural state just to perform an exercise or should you develop the muscle flexibility beforhand to allow you to perform the exercise?
    I would have asked the same thing as Bombdonald... im not experienced with powerlifting, but I don't think your answer satisfies his question. (in for Donald responce)

    It should be natural.

    Some people have bad form and will not properly increase the flexibility of the "correct muscles" with the exercise alone. Either bad form and mechanics or limited range of motion. How will they gain the flexibility just by exercising?

    The people that do have good from or are experience lifters (powerlifters, competitive athletes) may have busy lives that makes them sit for long periods of time. Computer chairs or driving in the car will make you very tight. I personally suffer from that and a little bit of sedentary lifestyle outside of gym. Static Stretching can help the person in better position to lift the most weight possible correctly and with their best rom.

    If you can do your 1st squat warmup with full rom... an aggressive pre workout stretching routine is not needed. If you are squatting high... what muscles are being stretched at their limit? only ego

    My concern is when individuals with limited ROM who don't stretch (either dynamic or static) fail a lift and go past their limited rom. My only example would be trying to do the splits... I would tear or pull an abductor muscle if I force myself past my current rom.

    Some people don't stretch properly. Static stretching shouldn't be ballistic or painful. I personally include static stretching as part of my pre and post workout routine. I go by feel and hold stretches between 5-20 seconds. I hold them a little longer during post workout.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Dynamic stretching, Star jumps etc, pre workout, not just for muscle flexibility but also for a generic Warm up. Get the synovial fluid going to protect your joints. I don't see why you wouldn't do any kind of warm up (even if it's lifting a light weight for a few reps).

    Static stretching only ever after the workout. I don't want to stretch a cold muscle as I am stretching to prevent injuries. (Though to be fair, I do sometimes do it on a rest day when I'm suffering from DOMS)

    I also like a bit of PNF, developmental stretching, and love the foam rolling (but that's more of a massage than a stretch TBF)
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    Originally Posted by DeltaCharlie75 View Post
    Should you be forcing your muscles into a unnatural state just to perform an exercise or should you develop the muscle flexibility beforhand to allow you to perform the exercise?
    Maybe, but that's another topic within itself. The point I'm making is that it really comes down to a variety of different factors as to what someone should do for flexibility and when they should do it.
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    Originally Posted by SCJuggernaut View Post
    I would have asked the same thing as Bombdonald... im not experienced with powerlifting, but I don't think your answer satisfies his question. (in for Donald responce)

    It should be natural.
    Lol just caught this. I'm not arguing about anything really, just asking rhetorical questions to get people thinking. Things are rarely black and white.

    I would agree that people should not be putting themselves in awkward positions to lift more weight. Usually the most efficient movement will be the strongest anyways.
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    An increase in an athletic attribute that does not negatively impact your primary goals is never a bad thing. Its just like cardio in my opinion, while it is not mandatory for a powerlifter to perform cardio to get strong, there are plenty of positive benefits that directly aid in strength gain from performing cardio and increasing your endurance/work capacity. I don't need to be able to kiss the back of my knee but it is probabaly the easiest aspect of fitness to improve on/ maintain that will directly benefit my lifting.
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