I know this is not food related, but I recently got the opportunity to guest write in a new fitness article that is coming out focusing on the top Gym faults that we as trainers see. had a 350 word cap and I went over so I had to cut some things down to make it fit.
This was pretty big for me, as I would love to be more than just the food guy. I want to be able to share information with people in a way they can understand it, and information that will help better themselves in some way, shape, or form. Bare with me as I go down this journey. I have terrible grammar, no post high school education in a school setting, so all my information I learn is through seminars, certs, and my own reading.
Today, my topic is on Static Stretching and why you shouldn’t do it Pre Workout. Please enjoy, and I would love to hear some feedback if you enjoyed this, if you didn’t, do you agree, disagree, whatever!
Static Stretching Pre-Workout
I have chosen to discuss Static Stretching because I have noticed people making the same mistakes continuously during their warm up’s. Research has shown that static stretching is counterproductive prior to exercising, yet we have been conditioned and reinforced to continue this practice, through gym class, sports, and so forth. Hopefully, I can shed some light on why you should not be static stretching prior to exercising.
Studies have shown that static stretching pre-workout before performing explosive movements can impair and decrease performance significantly. Picture a rubber band being stretched thin and losing its elasticity, that is what you’re doing to your muscles when static stretching pre-workout. You are robbing yourself of the valuable stretch reflex, used to help you ascend in your squat or help your vertical jump.
Static stretching is also believed to warm your muscles up, but this is false. Before exercising, you spend your time warming up your muscles and core temperature, so that the body is primed to tackle the task ahead. Furthermore, dynamic stretches prepare your body through specific ranges of motion and positions, in which you might be going into during exercise; in contrast static stretches make you relax your body, and attempt to further push your body past its current range of motion. that is not priming your body to handle maximum loads, generate torque, perform as fast or explosive as needed.
It is also believed that static stretching is the cure to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness(DOMS). This is also not true. The best way to he recover a sore muscle, is by working that same muscle group, whether it be lifting or dynamic stretching, to send new and fresh blood to the area. This will then help solve your muscle soreness and aid in recovery.
If you still want to static stretch pre-workout, I would recommend 2-5 minutes of soft tissue work, followed by light static stretching (2-4 movements), then dynamic stretching (4-8 movements) to better warm and prime the body. Some effective forms of dynamic stretches are: Arm Circles, Lunges with rotational twist, Shoulder rotations with PVC or resistance band, knees to chest, and leg swings(front, back, side to side). Those are just a few, but the list goes on.
In conclusion, I would recommend moving your static stretches to post workout, to help cool down your body. Remember, the goal is to warm your body, get you ready to tackle the task at hand.
CPT, CSN, USAW Club Coach, USAPL Coach, CrossFit level 1