Studies: Why you shouldn't stretch before your workout

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    Apr 05, 2013 4:43 AM GMT
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/reasons-not-to-stretch/

    Instead, researchers have discovered, this so-called static stretching can lessen jumpers’ heights and sprinters’ speeds, without substantially reducing people’s chances of hurting themselves.

    Now, two new studies are giving us additional reasons not to stretch.

    One, a study being published this month in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, concluded that if you stretch before you lift weights, you may find yourself feeling weaker and wobblier than you expect during your workout. Those findings join those of another new study from Croatia, a bogglingly comprehensive re-analysis of data from earlier experiments that was published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Together, the studies augment a growing scientific consensus that pre-exercise stretching is generally unnecessary and likely counterproductive.
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    Apr 05, 2013 5:52 AM GMT
    I am a yoga practicioner, and I also like to weight-train.

    I read this research yesterday, referenced in the UK Daily Mail.

    Question: If I wish to practise yoga in the morning and weight-train in the afternoon, how long a period should I leave between the two?

    The article did not answer that question. I think that I should be fine, but I might reconsider using sun salutations (surya namaskara) as a warm up and cool down, and just use the cross-trainer.

    Also, it was suggested that for more endurance-focused training, stretching is less antithetical.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 05, 2013 12:49 PM GMT
    Fortis saidI am a yoga practicioner, and I also like to weight-train.

    I read this research yesterday, referenced in the UK Daily Mail.

    Question: If I wish to practise yoga in the morning and weight-train in the afternoon, how long a period should I leave between the two?

    The article did not answer that question. I think that I should be fine, but I might reconsider using sun salutations (surya namaskara) as a warm up and cool down, and just use the cross-trainer.

    Also, it was suggested that for more endurance-focused training, stretching is less antithetical.


    I also weight train and do yoga
    I am not sure about the study but I can tell you that doing yoga first? ... Might be a mistake
    Maybe for the same reasons that the study cites I have found that I am more prone to injury if I weight train after I have done a session of yoga

    If you want to do both in the same day do the Yoga AFTER you do weights
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    Apr 05, 2013 1:28 PM GMT
    I never stretch before exercising. From my experience warmup sets are better.
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    Apr 05, 2013 8:14 PM GMT
    GQjock said

    I also weight train and do yoga
    I am not sure about the study but I can tell you that doing yoga first? ... Might be a mistake
    Maybe for the same reasons that the study cites I have found that I am more prone to injury if I weight train after I have done a session of yoga

    If you want to do both in the same day do the Yoga AFTER you do weights


    How soon did you weight-train after yoga? Straight away? Twelve hours?

    Yoga is the main priority, so I might be loathe to exhaust myself with weight-training before practising. Weight-training is more the means to finish off the day's exercise than its foundation.
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    Apr 06, 2013 3:57 AM GMT
    One year, coffee and chocolate is bad for you, another good.

    This is why I stretch both before AND after working out - dynamic stretching before, static stretching after.

    I have a bad back and am stiff before workouts, so no way am I going to give up a pre-workout stretch/warm-up.
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    Apr 06, 2013 4:18 AM GMT
    Don't overinterpret this study. They are measuring the effect of stretching (independent variable) on heights and speeds (dependent variables), which are measures of performance.

    This does not mean that you cannot still workout and do a hypertrophy style lift, which does not have such performance measures. 90% (made up statistic just now) of lifters in a gym do hypertrophy lifts, which are moderate weight, lots of volume, lots of different exercises with the purpose to give themselves a burn and make their muscles saturated with blood due to muscle damage and inflammation.

    This information is only helpful if you are a strength and power lifter, who goes into the gym, keeps volume low, the weight high, and tries to go for new personal bests in terms of weight lifted (or just lifts heavy and keeps reps low without the purpose of burning out muscles). In terms of strength/height/speed, which are measures of maximum performance and not necessarily a measure of health or fitness, stretching is negative and you would have to periodize your stretching for after lifts.

    So for yoga people, do whatever you want unless you're going for performance measures.

    --M.Ed. Clinical Exercise Physiology, BS Kinesiology, NASM-CPT
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 07, 2013 12:37 PM GMT
    Fortis said
    GQjock said

    I also weight train and do yoga
    I am not sure about the study but I can tell you that doing yoga first? ... Might be a mistake
    Maybe for the same reasons that the study cites I have found that I am more prone to injury if I weight train after I have done a session of yoga

    If you want to do both in the same day do the Yoga AFTER you do weights


    How soon did you weight-train after yoga? Straight away? Twelve hours?

    Yoga is the main priority, so I might be loathe to exhaust myself with weight-training before practising. Weight-training is more the means to finish off the day's exercise than its foundation.


    Yeah ... I'd space a weight training session 12 hours after a yoga class not before
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Apr 07, 2013 11:01 PM GMT
    Stretching before exercise is a good idea.....but do a warm up first, then do a particular kind, 'dynamic' stretching, that mimics the actual exercise. 'Static' stretching here is, at best, ineffectual, and possibly reduces performance.

    After exercise, a cool down, then static stretching to extend the movement of the body when the muscles are at their warmest and longest.

    Always avoid going from inactivity to rigorous activity in one go!