Stretching after working out

  • ataru13

    Posts: 87

    Apr 20, 2012 10:03 AM GMT
    Hi all:

    I'm a badminton player (for the last 20 years).
    Only one year I did join a gym, where the trainer told me "NO STRETCHING AFTER WORKING OUT" (in case there was some small tear in some muscle).
    I've ALWAYS stretched out after any sports my whole life (and I'm a big fan of stretching).

    So, what's your opinion on that?
    Do you think it's bad to stretch after a gym work out or not?

    Thankssss
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    Apr 20, 2012 11:50 AM GMT

    Speaking from a physiological standpoint, stretching a muscle after an intense workout allows you to effectively "disentangle" the fibers, thus allowing them to repair more efficiently. A workout is effectively damaging the muscle in such a way that the body copes with the trauma by bolstering the affected fibers. Stretching allows better bloodflow and thus better distrubution of restorative materials and dispersion of lactic acid, what built up in your system from the transfer of stored energy in the muscle into spent waste.

    Now, I am no expert, (hobby of working out and hospitality major made me take a few nutrition courses, so I learned a small amount about the body) but here is an informative article that backs up the same theory.

    http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding/57_fitness_tip.html

    The article, however, does not mention about "after" the workout. So, from my own readings, I say non-strenuous stretches post work-out aid the healing process more than risk further exasperating an injury.

    TL;DR
    In my opinion, you should stretch after working out.
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    Apr 20, 2012 1:25 PM GMT
    I agree with Olandew. I also am not an expert, but just doing what I've been told is important by trainers, and I think my physical therapist. One phrase is "A long muscle is a strong muscle." This means working out tightens the muscle fibers and stretching the muscles out does just what Olandew says. I like stretching. I also have heard stretching during your workout any time you wish is also good.

    I was told that too much stretching before working out could injure your muscles, to do a 5 minute warm up on cardio followed by two 8 second stretches for the muscles I am going to work out rather than a longer full stretches. The full stretches can be done as your muscles are worked out and particularly after the work out.

    Today I stretch before and after my workout. I had back problems, and my physical therapist said it was good I stretch before and after. They are regular stretches you see a lot of people doing. I go easy before I work out. If I am working out my chest, I only do a couple of short stretches for my chest (and triceps) before I work out. That is after I do my routine stretches, and a cardio warmup.

    After my workout, I do longer stretches of my chest and triceps, any other muscles. I follow with my regular stretches again, slowly at my own pace, stretching carefully and as much as I can. It feels good and is relaxing. I can tell it helps my muscles and flexibility.

    I don't know about non-strenuous stretches after workout. Your muscles have been worked and are ready to be stretched out and need it. They are not cold muscles. I think how you stretch is what makes a difference. I work up to it. After my work out, I do three reps of each stretch. The first is a gentle warm up. I don't push much farther than my muscle wants to stretch. I find my muscles stretch farther in the second rep, so I push farther. The third rep of stretching the same muscle, I stretch as far as I can go comfortably.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Apr 20, 2012 3:26 PM GMT
    I agree with much of the above. Passive stretching after a work out, when the body`s still warm, is good because you tend to lengthen the muscle over time with repeated stretching, and a longer muscle is more efficient in its working and less prone to injury.

    Before a work out, dynamic stretching is best as you gently and controlledly mimic the exercise you are about to subject your body to-no sudden shocks to the system, etc.!

    But before all exercise and stretching you need to warm up for five or ten minutes, walking, jogging, etc.,again to limber up, get the blood circulating, and prevent sudden changes in activity levels. Afterwards, a cool down should be done to gradually relax the body from intense activity.
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    Apr 20, 2012 3:34 PM GMT
    I stretch when I wake up in the morning, and before I go to bed. When my workout I do a full body stretch before the workout, in-between sets the muscle I'm working out, and full body stretch after my workout. It's helped keep my long and lean this long. icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 22, 2012 12:45 AM GMT
    I've always heard that stretching after a workout or run is more important than before. I do both.
  • maxferguson

    Posts: 321

    Aug 28, 2012 6:24 AM GMT
    ataru13 saidHi all:

    I'm a badminton player (for the last 20 years).
    Only one year I did join a gym, where the trainer told me "NO STRETCHING AFTER WORKING OUT" (in case there was some small tear in some muscle).
    I've ALWAYS stretched out after any sports my whole life (and I'm a big fan of stretching).

    So, what's your opinion on that?
    Do you think it's bad to stretch after a gym work out or not?

    Thankssss


    I swam for 14 years and was always told to do a dynamic stretch for warm up (i.e., arm/leg swings, squat jumps, etc...) and slow deep stretching after workout. Reason being that after your muscles are elongated, they're less prepared to fire and contract, and subsequently perform.
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    Aug 28, 2012 6:33 AM GMT
    I've always been told stretching is important. I've come to the conclusion that is absolutely false.

    "Several authors have suggested that stretching has a beneficial effect on injury prevention. In contrast, clinical evidence suggesting that stretching before exercise does not prevent injuries has also been reported. Apparently, no scientifically based prescription for stretching exercises exists and no conclusive statements can be made about the relationship of stretching and athletic injuries"

    From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15233597

    There are tons of other examples online though.
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    Aug 28, 2012 6:57 AM GMT
    Dynamic stretching before workout to warm muscles up. Static stretching after workout to increase range of movement.
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    Aug 28, 2012 7:24 AM GMT
    I do a 15 -20 minute warmup prior to my lifting, and then do a 25-30 minute stretching regimen(which includes some yoga) after every workout as a cool-down. I find that if I neglect the stretching I start to knot up.

    And a massage every 5 or 6 weeks to really work the kinks out!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2012 10:29 PM GMT
    unless you wanna injure yourself, you should always stretch after a workout, if not warm up prior.
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    Aug 28, 2012 10:31 PM GMT
    You should always stretch after a workout. The only time you shouldn't stretch is if you actually did have a tear, but you would know that because it would hurt like hell and you would know exactly what you did to pull the muscle. Stretch with proper form - always hold static stretches for 20-30 seconds and don't bounce in and out of the stretch.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Aug 29, 2012 6:16 PM GMT
    do both before and after- prob solvedicon_idea.gif - next
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 29, 2012 6:18 PM GMT
    'shuttlecock'........ i just wanted to say that
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    Aug 30, 2012 3:06 PM GMT
    I've always stretched before my workouts, then sometimes afterwards. For me, it just kind of depends on the type of work out I just completed.

    Ideally: I think BEFORE and AFTER is good... icon_smile.gif
  • jock_n_ca

    Posts: 148

    Aug 30, 2012 9:20 PM GMT
    The science is mixed on this. If it feels good do it. icon_twisted.gif
  • FlypinHigh

    Posts: 465

    Sep 03, 2012 11:47 PM GMT
    dynamic stretching before a workout
    static stretching after a workout

    oh someone already posted that then x2
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    Sep 03, 2012 11:54 PM GMT
    FlypinHigh saiddynamic stretching before a workout
    static stretching after a workout

    oh someone already posted that then x2



    Dynamic stretching before working out and static stretching after...
    Crap two people already said that then x3

    Even better than static stretching though is PNF (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) in which antagonist or agonists are being contracted. This by far is the best post workout stretching...

    Also try Myofascial Release aka foam rolling before working out. This will relieve those pesky knots in the muscle fibers that cause imbalance and lead to injury,.. Trust me OP I am a CPT!!!
  • ftwcycle

    Posts: 111

    Sep 11, 2012 2:27 AM GMT
    I usually end my workouts with 10-15 mins of stretching. A few minutes on the foam roller, then some gentle stretching for hams, quads, back and shoulders at the very least. I sure get to sleep easier and get a better quality rest.
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    Sep 11, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    desertfan saidI've always heard that stretching after a workout or run is more important than before. I do both.

    ditto*
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    Sep 14, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    I always do a warm-up before and a stretch after. That's what I was taught. I was told never to stretch "cold" muscles.

    I've never heard what the trainer in the OP said. I guess it's possible that stretching could worsen a small injury, but you're more likely to have soreness or an injury if you don't stretch.
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    Oct 04, 2012 11:45 PM GMT
    It is absolutely necessary that you stretch while warm. It's also a waste of time to stretch too often. The majority of adult inflexibility comes first from your body's own map of itself (homunculus). Your body thinks it's unsafe to go outside a certain percentage of it's normal movement; and so fights to keep you within it, even if you are safe going further from a physical perspective.

    Beyond that limitation, your myofascial tissue adapts to being in the most common positions you sit or stand in all day. Just as you train your biceps to grow, bad posture and too much sitting tell your body to adapt to that: it's simply doing what you tell it to do! When you stretch, focus on being relaxed. If your body panics, you will not become more flexibile. Once you reach your relaxed endpoint you can do your contract-relax to get up to your true physical limitations. And be sure not to get out of the stretch using the same muscles you were stretching.