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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Austin

Do You Stretch Before Your Workouts?

The next time you are at a gym or park, look around as people begin to exercise and you will see lots of static stretching. Static stretching is when you stretch the muscle and hold the position for 15-60 seconds. The idea behind the stretching is that getting your muscles "loose" will prevent injury. Exercise Physiologists have known for a long time that this just isn't true.

Here is just one study published more than 20 years ago that debunks this myth. The researchers studied over 1,500 participants and found no difference in injury rates between those that did static stretching and a control group that did no stretching at all.

how should I warm-up Before exercise?

Take a look at high-level collegiate and professional athletes. What are they doing to warm up before their competitions? The vast majority of these athletes perform dynamic stretches as opposed to static stretches. Dynamic stretches are movements that put your body through a full range of motion while moving. One of the main benefits of dynamic stretching is that as you stretch you are literally warming the body. A warm muscle is proven to be more resistant to injury than a cold muscle.

These researchers found that:

"when muscle temperature drops below 32°C, less energy is required to cause muscle tears. Muscle temperatures of 32°C are reported in ambient conditions, suggesting that it would be beneficial, particularly in colder environments, to ensure that peripheral muscle temperature is raised close to core levels prior to high-velocity exercise"

When I work with my clients, we always begin with exercises that slowly warm the body up. If you are unsure about your warm-up routine, please contact me to set up an appointment!

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