Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Still Stretching?

Sweat Science points out something that I've featured on this blog a fair bit in the past:  “Stretching before or after exercise does not reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness.”  He is commenting on a recent review article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine 

While I agree with all that I do think there is some benefit for stretching certain muscles.  I am pretty convinced by the argument of Janda re Tonic and Phasic muscles, that there are certain muscles that tend to tighten up and others that tend to be weaker, especially as we age.  I think Rif once described this in terms of the foetal postion.  As we age we tend to return to a foetal position, gravity is pulling us back into a ball.  The muscles on the fron of the body contract - biceps, pecs, psoas, calves, hamstrings (ok those last two are not on the front) - while those on the back, the postural muscles that hold you up[ against gravity - the glutes, abs, rhomboids - get weaker. 

You need to stretch out the muscles that tend to tightness and strengthen those that tend to weakness....or at least that is what Dan John would argue.....


john said...

"You need to stretch out the muscles that tend to tightness and strengthen those that tend to weakness"

This is great advice, which also leads to a focus on strengthening the "more important" athletics muscles.

I've come to the conclusion that static stretching does not work as well for me as mobility drills and massage though. My squat and sprints feel considerably better after hip mobility/rolling vs stretching (usually hip adductors, abductors, flexors--I don't stretch hamstrings or glutes).

Model Muscle HQ said...

Interesting stuff.

From my experience, dynamic stretching is great pre workout while slow yoga-style static stretching post workout really helps relax the muscles.