4 Reasons You Need To Stop Stretching Now
Stretching is not the same as warming up. Here's why you must NOT practice stretching before your workout session.
Here's why you should not practice stretching before workout session
- Warm up and stretching are not the same thing
- Stretching makes your warm up effort futile
- Your chances of getting injured spike due to pre-workout stretch
Where you must have heard gym instructor and weight trainers recommending stretching exercises before starting your workout, we are going to explain why you do not need stretching exercises. Yes warm up is important but it is quite far from stretching exercises in particular. It is a way to prepare your body for the increased physical activity and reduce the chances of suffering from injuries. Not only this, warm up also prepares your body for increased oxygen and blood supply to your muscles and mentally prepares you for an intense workout session which requires concentration and motivation.
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In a nutshell, stretching before workout is just no recommended and here we explain why.
1. Stretching and warm up are two different things
Wait, what? Stretching and warm up are different!
This is an all too common mistake. Warm up is practicing a light intensity activities like jogging or brisk-walking, cycling, running or aerobics. This prepares your body for an upcoming rigorous workout session. The working muscles get enough blood, oxygen and nutrient supply due to warm up. However, stretching does not serve the same purpose.
2. Stretching undermines warm up
If you wish to stretch, you must warm up first, then stop and then stretch. The part where you need to stop is what makes your warm up futile. Once you stop moving, your body temperature, heart rate and breathing come to what it was before warming up. If you wish to warm up, stop, stretch and again warm up, it is fine. Otherwise, stretching will just make your warm up effort futile.
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3. Stretching does not prevent injuries
Where a warm up is meant to make your body adapt to the rigorous workout and prevent injuries, stretching in no way reduces the chances of injuries. CDC experts explained, "People who stretched before exercise were no less likely to suffer injuries such as a pulled muscle, which the increased flexibility from stretching is supposed to prevent." Therefore, if you feel stretching prevents you from getting injured, it is not true.
4. Stretching increases risk of injuries
On the contrary, your chances of getting injured spike due to pre-workout stretch. Researchers showed that stretching too much can affect your performance and make you more vulnerable to injuries. A certain amount of 'tightness' in muscles is necessary to ensure power, strength while playing and exercising.
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To clear all doubts, we are not completely discouraging people from stretching altogether. Here we just explained the cons of stretching before workout. Ideally, you must practice stretching after workout. With your body still warm and pumped up, you can get the most out of stretching and moreover, it is a great way to end your workout session.