The Truth About Stretching
Clearing up conflicting information about stretching.
The fitness industry has changed tremendously over the past couple of decades. This evolution has done a lot of good, but it has also brought upon a plethora of conflicting information. Couple the fact that it only takes a few dollars to be certified as an expert, with the massive influx of social media into our society, and your left with a recipe for disaster. One area where we have a lot of misinformation is the concept of stretching.
Old School Thought
Stretching* used to be recommended prior to any type of activity. Hearing "be sure to stretch before you start" is a statement that I am sure that we have all heard plenty of times from coaches and friends alike. However, over the past couple of decades that recommendation has been proven outdated and inaccurate. In fact, a research article published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport found that stretching cold muscles prior to working out actually increased post-workout soreness more than the control group who did not stretch at all. Furthermore, a multitude of studies have shown that stretching prior to activity decreases the ability of a muscle to produce power.
New School Recommendations
Currently, the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) recommends dynamic stretching, or warming up, prior to activity. Instead of forcefully lengthening a cold muscle and holding it like static stretching, dynamic stretching warms the muscle through controlled active muscular action, taking it through the full range of motion. I recommend doing movements similar to what you will be performing during your workout. By doing so, your body temperature rises, your nervous system is stimulated and your muscles become infused with blood and energy, primed to perform your activity.
Our world is constantly evolving around us. Facts become fiction and what used to be a recommendation becomes an act that you are encouraged to avoid. Strive, every day, to learn and stay up to date on whatever it is that drives you.
*For the purpose of this post, stretching is defined as the long encouraged act of forcefully lengthening a muscle and holding it for a period of time.
About 9Round Fort Mill
9Round™ is a specialized fitness gym dedicated to serving clients who want a unique, fun, and proven workout that guarantees results. 9Round™ offers traditional "old school" boxing and kickboxing fitness programs that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. 9Round™ delivers total body results in a quick and convenient 30 minute workout with no class times and a personal trainer with you every step of the way. In addition, the 9Round™ workout circuit changes daily meaning your motivation will remain high as you strive to meet and maintain your fitness goals!
About Jordon Simmons
Jordon Simmons is the owner of 9Round Kickboxing Fitness in Fort Mill, South Carolina. He is a former Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Oklahoma where he earned his Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology, as well as a former Tactical Performance/Strength and Conditioning Specialist at Fort Bragg where he trained the 3rd Group Special Forces. He advises individuals on healthy eating and lifestyles through his role as an advisor with AdvoCare. His certifications include being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Functional Movement Screen Professional, and will soon be published in the scientific journal Muscle and Nerve. You can find him in the gym using his experience to create a fun, fast-paced workout in an environment conducive to members meeting their goals at 9Round Fort Mill.