Wow! Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.
A few weeks ago one of my readers sent me an article titled; “Stop Stretching!” In it the author claims that “…research shows stretching has no value.”
These sorts of blanket statements are a miss-interpretation and a gross exaggeration of the research, and are very miss-leading as to what the research actually says.
Although the author only makes reference to one study, I can assume he’s referring to any number of studies that have been done over the last 10 to 15 years on the effects of stretching before exercise.
So what have the research studies proved so far?
Specifically… that doing long-hold (20+ seconds) static stretches immediately before power based activities like running, jumping and sprinting can have a detrimental effect on explosive power and speed.
In other words: Doing a specific type of stretching, in a specific way, immediately before another specific activity, can have a negative effect on athletic performance.
NOT that “stretching has no value.”
Anyone who makes a comment like the one above, either doesn’t know how to interpret a research study (or maybe they’ve never even read the research and are just regurgitating what they’ve heard someone else say), or they have an ulterior motive.
Now I’m the first to admit that stretching is no miracle activity. In fact, just a few weeks ago I published an article titled; Stretching is Only One Part of a Bigger Picture where I say “…stretching is just one part of a holistic health and wellness plan: An often neglected part, but all the same, just one part.” So I do my best to keep a level-headed perspective of what stretching can and can’t do.
If you want to see how stretching really prevents injury (and improves performance) take a look at my article titled; How Does Stretching Prevent Sports Injury?
Until next time, stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.
The Stretch Coach
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