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Thoughts on stretching(9 posts)

Thoughts on stretchingSnyder
Nov 4, 2002 5:01 AM
Generally when I stretch I push the muscle to the point of initial resistance, then slowly push beyond that point, then hold for a few seconds. Rest, repeat several times. Classical method. Recently I've read that one should bring the muscle to the point just beyond initial resistance, then immediatly release pressure, before the elasticity of the muscle is activated. Rest, repeat many times.
Any thoughts, comments.
re: Thoughts on stretchingBikeViking
Nov 4, 2002 6:13 AM
I was having a lot of IT trouble and went to see a PT about it. She told me to warm up slightly (doesn't mean break a sweat) and to hold the stretches for a minute. ANything less than a minute was not lengthening the muscle(s) in question. I also got some specialized IT stretches and I have been injury-free since April (knock on wood!!)

I just stretch to a point of "discomfort". It's hard to separately describe the "discomfort" of good stretching from the REAL discomfort of injury.

Yeah hold for a long time.Sintesi
Nov 4, 2002 6:23 AM
I had back problems this year and my wife finally got me to join her for at least part of her Yoga routine. No pushing or straining. Go to your natural extension and hold for 2-3 minutes while mentally focussing on relaxing the muscle. I'm a very stiff, non-stretching guy who hates the pain of stretching but thru this method I experience no pain and am making good progess. I almost got my head to my knees the other night. That's probably my best in the last 10 years. Once again: NO STRAINING. HOLD FOR >2 MINUTES.

Gravity is your friend.
15-30 secs has proven to be as effective as 60 secsPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 4, 2002 7:10 AM
It depends. After competition if you got the time resting longer won't hurt you. And I'm not sure if that study took into account how far people were pushing into the stretch. When your stretching though push to the point of resistance and slowly try to push farther. If you push too far your muscles will tense up (the shaking people sometimes experience) and not stretch as well as relaxed.

For pre-competion you may want to hold for 15 secs and hold/release since peak muscle force has been proven to go down if you hold a stretch for more than about 6 secs.

As for the yoga stuff due to its relaxing nature they hold for a lot longer at a lower tension. This does the same as holding for 60 secs and more since the muscle is completely relaxed and has no inhibition to stretch out.

Is pre-race stretching really suggested?Spunout
Nov 4, 2002 7:49 AM
As stretching is micro-damaging to muscles, just like any hard workout requiring a healing interval: Should we stretch to the point of strain before an event?

I don't think I read it in Friel. But, it is understandable that over-stretching before a hard effort undermines the effort. I stretch during strength workouts, after most rides, and on low-intensity workout days.
Depends... possibly legs swings or short stretchesPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 4, 2002 2:01 PM
Before my weight workouts I do dynamic leg swings. Keeping my leg straight I hold onto something and then swing my leg back and forth ten times. Then do it sideways with both hands on the wall. You can also stretch but don't hold it for more than 6 secs... so if you are stiff anywhere or just want to stretch more after dynamic leg swings maybe hold (to the point of strain) 1-2-3 relax hold 1-2-3... then release. Experiment during your workouts to find whats best for your pre-race routine.

The 6 second part comes from explosive sports so I'm not sure how it would work on the road where the muscle has time to rewarm up and isn't firing at maximal force.

As for any microtears in the muscle they are minimal as long as you don't hold for say a minute. 15 secs is the longest before a workout I'd say.

Yup - Active-Isolated Stretchinggtx
Nov 4, 2002 7:39 AM
10 two second holds. I've been doing it for the last year and find it much more effective than the old hold and burn method. It's all outlined in this book. It's used by many elite atheletes and a lot of PTs are starting to recommend it.
Thanks for the linkSnyder
Nov 4, 2002 11:04 AM
re: my houghts on stretchingdzrider
Nov 4, 2002 8:09 AM
There sure are lots of theories on how best to stretch. Has anybody actually studied large enough groups of people to show that one method or another works better and published the results? I don't know.

I do know that the best exercise for me is one that I'll do. Since giving up pot smoking I find it impossible to lay around holding a series of stretches for a minute or two each. It's just too boring. So, for example, if I want to stretch my lower back, I reach for my toes and then raise my hands and arch my back the other way. I go back and forth slowly between the extreme positions until I'm bored and go on to another exercise.