cardio instead of stretching?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 09, 2008 5:49 PM GMT
    i really hate stretching before workouts, i never do it. i figure when im on the elliptical my legs and arms are moving and im like ok thats stretching there. is this really bad? im not lifting anything crazy and stretching sucks and takes energy away from the real deal.
  • helium

    Posts: 378

    Jan 09, 2008 5:54 PM GMT
    Stretching is an important thing to do. You need to do it before lifting. That's the way on how the muscle will warm up and be ready for the work you plan to do on them. At least using the elliptical is a good way of warming up the muscles but still you need to stretch them out after you're done so that way your muscles can feel loose and ready for the muscle building or toning that you are doing for the day.
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    Jan 09, 2008 6:55 PM GMT
    I've been doing the same as hippie....I figured that when doing cardio (eliptical or moving stairs) the system is designed to start you slow which is like stretching...so that's where I get warmed up. Should I be stretching then after lifting (albeit I'm not a strong lifter! LOL) or do another 10 min of cardio? I usually end my workout with crunches...
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    Jan 09, 2008 7:08 PM GMT
    being on an elliptical machine is not stretching. thats like saying walking is stretching
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    Jan 09, 2008 7:13 PM GMT
    actually i've read that 5 min warm is better. Gets the blood going. Cold stretching is how you get hurt.

    I normally do five minute warm up, 1 set of light weights and then stretch and move up the weights accordingly.
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    Jan 09, 2008 7:26 PM GMT
    Stretching can shut down the pathways through which messages from the brain travel to the receptors in the muscles. This can hinder your ability to perform maximally. A 5 minute warm up on the elliptical is just fine. You can also do body weight versions of the exercises you are about to perform to activate your neuromuscular system. Stretching AFTER a workout is highly recommended.
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    Jan 09, 2008 7:28 PM GMT
    Yeah, static stretching decreases blood flow to the muscles instead of increasing it. Dynamic stretches are the best way to warm up before a workout. Save the stretching for afterward.
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    Jan 09, 2008 7:33 PM GMT
    Sweet actually did something right for once :-)
  • USMCjock

    Posts: 89

    Jan 10, 2008 6:25 AM GMT
    I knew more than I knew! SD Trainer made my point- obviously from learned knowledge. I read that the important thing is to get the blood flowing- quick treadmill run or whatever is the key. Stretching actually is pre-tiring your muscles. Stretch afterwards, of course, but pre-workout, just get all warm (mmmm!) A lot of Marines will do some quick joint loosening (knee rotations, ankle rotations) and then go run 3 miles. i like to get the groin, calf and quads/ham stretched first, but they are usually younger than me. Stretching after is always the best way to avoid cramps/stiffness. And what SDTrainer said- hehe. (I was gonna abbreviate that, but SDT looked too similar to something derogatory!)
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    Jan 10, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    Stretching is a number one cause of SDTs. Be careful out there.
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    Jan 10, 2008 4:23 PM GMT
    I believe that stretching is as important as the workout itself. I'm guessing that when you're not working out you're prone to body and head-aches. Stretching is a natural way of letting go of some of that tension that builds up to stress.

    As for stretching and your workout, makes it easier for your muscles to reach a relaxed state, being leaner and able to take more stress from weightlifting. If you chose to go without stretching and cardio before your workout you could risk ripping muscle fibers or ligaments.
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    Jan 10, 2008 4:28 PM GMT
    Very good question,I had a trainer tell me you didn't have to stretch,that a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill was sufficient.I'm interested in what others have to say.
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    Jan 10, 2008 4:38 PM GMT
    My trainer (ISSA certified) has me do 3-4 minutes on the rec center's ancient Schwinn Airdyne and then 15 reps with 12# dumbbells of squatting down to tap the dumbbells on the floor and then standing up and raising the dumbbells straight overhead. I stretch after the workout.
  • Kevin82

    Posts: 273

    Jan 10, 2008 4:58 PM GMT
    This past summer I did an exuberant amount of cardio for what I am used to. I was running 20+ miles a week and biking everywhere, the longest ride I took was 50 miles. I wasn't stretching every time and I got so tight through my hamstrings that my tendons where misaligning my knees which I realized later. I thought I was getting chondromalacia which is basically a degeneration of the cartilage in your knees because they hurt so bad. After 2 months of no running and lots of stretching my knees don't hurt anymore and I'm doing cardio again.

    Stretching is the most important thing you can do to maintain range of motion of your joints and to keep everything in proper alignment.
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    Jan 10, 2008 10:18 PM GMT
    kevin is it possible that your problems were due to too much strain and running/biking as opposed to not stretching? how much cardio/biking do u do now?
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    Apr 30, 2008 3:31 PM GMT
    Why is it more beneficial to stretch afterwards? I don't do ANY stretching. I do cardio for 20 mins or so on the elliptical and go to the weight room and start. If i do nto do the elliptical i always do a light set, like really light set, to get the blood moving into those muscles.

    So far i am ok, but why should one stretch afterwards?

    Whit
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    Apr 30, 2008 3:56 PM GMT
    I had a great H20-polo coach who taught us so much - and he believed in warming up and warming down - so yes - I stretch and do 250 crunches before my workouts - weights, swimming laps or cardio. Afterwards, I warm down - and hit the jacuzzi. I must be doing something right - because I feel great every day.
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:03 PM GMT
    Like Jockbod, as a swimmer, I would spend a good 20 mins stretching every day. Swimming requires muscle flexibility. conversely, running requires joint flexibility. I think both are imperative for an all around well being.

    I usually start with 10 mins of light cycling before my workout. Depending on how i feel I will stretch before a lifting workout. I would like to stretch after, but usually a spent by then. It is good to get a really good stretching session in once a week at the least. Its good for your muscles and allows some of the built up toxins and lactic acid to work itself out.

    If stretching is not your thing and you want something that challenges your body, try yoga or pilates. I have yet to do yoga (on my list) but really felt great after a weekly pilates session. Its a great way to lengthen your muscle fibers and its a very challenging core workout.