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What's your opinion on stretching? Do you stretch?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM

After reading some articles on the negative effects of stretching I stopped stretching all together about 3 months ago. The soreness in my legs has been pretty terrible for the past week or so...but it just dawned on me that I haven't been stretching.

Should we always stretch post workout? even though it may be a bad idea to do it pre-workout?

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on October 19, 2012
at 10:25 AM

Thats right, static stretching actually creates micro-tears in your muscle, which is great once you've finished working out as this prompts the inflammation and the healing process. Doing this beforehand weakens the muscle, and destabilises joints which can cause you to injure yourself. If you aren't into stretching, at the very least, move and walk around a lot to pump the lymph out and fresh nutrient blood in.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:23 PM

paleo man also had no idea what a barbell was. does that mean you should avoid it? hell no.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:21 PM

i remember reading something about how static stretching before workouts actually weakens your muscles. Post workout-- my only excuse was that I could never picture a paleo man stretching.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:01 PM

I second the mobility exercises pre-workout and stretching post-workout paradigm. I generally do 20 minutes of mobility warmups before workouts. If you go to Mark's Daily Apple, and do an internal Google search on "mobility posts," you'll get links to a lot of ideas for general and targeted mobility exercises.

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5 Answers

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4
81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:11 PM

What negative effects are you talking about? If you mean pre-workout, the only stretching you should do is dynamic stretching, joint mobilisation and activities to increase blood flow and heart rate such as a light jog.

Post-workout, a good strong static stretch is extremely beneficial, it can aid the lymph system in removing toxins built up in the muscle tissue, it will help minimise muscle imbalance and keep muscles at the correct length, which means they will operate better and stronger.

The day after or whenever delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) sets in, the best thing you can do to relieve the pain to stay active, jogging, walking etc. This keeps blood circulation up and helps bring in nutrients to repair muscle tissue.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:21 PM

i remember reading something about how static stretching before workouts actually weakens your muscles. Post workout-- my only excuse was that I could never picture a paleo man stretching.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:23 PM

paleo man also had no idea what a barbell was. does that mean you should avoid it? hell no.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on October 19, 2012
at 10:25 AM

Thats right, static stretching actually creates micro-tears in your muscle, which is great once you've finished working out as this prompts the inflammation and the healing process. Doing this beforehand weakens the muscle, and destabilises joints which can cause you to injure yourself. If you aren't into stretching, at the very least, move and walk around a lot to pump the lymph out and fresh nutrient blood in.

1
Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

on October 19, 2012
at 10:54 AM

I do about an hour of yoga three times a week. I lift weights on three other days and run on the final day. Until becoming Paleo four months ago, I was a life-long daily runner. I used to run marathons and keep up a 40 mile/week habit for years. I also always did yoga and never once got injured from all the running. I have also not experienced any of the back/neck pain that seems to plague many of my friends and colleagues as we have entered our forties. I really believe that yoga has helped with this. In addition to stretching tight muscles, the twists are good for the organs, inversions like headstand and shoulder stand are good for reversing gravity and for balance, and backbends keep the spine supple. The restorative poses are also deeply relaxing and I am sure they must help lower excess cortisol.

The combo of yoga, weight lifting and a weekly sprint just feel right to me...like I can get stronger and faster while protecting myself from injury.

1
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:28 PM

you should always stretch BEFORE and AFTER. i do about 5 minutes of dynamic stretching before every workout and 5-10 minutes of static stretching. i never, ever do ballistic stretching because i've learned it increases your risk of injury.

1
2c7026111493687e2d619c9e20e47915

(693)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:04 PM

I feel awful if I don't stretch after a workout. YMMV

1
F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on October 18, 2012
at 10:44 PM

Doesn't it depend on your situation and what you define as stretching? I do almost no static stretching, besides 30 second holds on internal rotation ROM shoulder... and one of the thoracic spine things I guess could be considered static stretching not sure there...

But I have an office job and if it weren't for some of the mobility things that I do, which I consider stretching, my body would fall apart. I definitely consider mobility work a key to my physical health, and I do some kind of "stretching" at least daily. Usually its general mobility or thoracic spine stuff.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 18, 2012
at 11:01 PM

I second the mobility exercises pre-workout and stretching post-workout paradigm. I generally do 20 minutes of mobility warmups before workouts. If you go to Mark's Daily Apple, and do an internal Google search on "mobility posts," you'll get links to a lot of ideas for general and targeted mobility exercises.

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