Is it better to stretch before or after exercise?
Whenever an athlete has asked me this question, I have invited him to engrave the word CAED on his head.
These are abbreviations for
Stretching is better for cooling
Traditional heating has always been active.
Gentle, dynamic and progressive exercises have been warming up the muscle and preparing it for physical activity.
That has been the traditional warm-up for many years until the stretches came along.
There weren’t always fashionable stretches.
Now they are in vogue and some gyms even have a room for stretching exercises, where some people warm up with stretching and others return to calm after physical exercise and relax their muscles also with stretching.
Stretching before training is not good
A recent study by the University of Austin in Texas has confirmed that stretching before exercise is not good. You’re running out of strength.
If you stretch before you train…. don’t do it anymore
This and similar studies have shown that if you stretch before exercising, you can create micro-injuries in your muscle fibers that affect muscle performance. Pre-exercise stretches reduce your strength.
Paradoxically, stretching before exercise was done precisely to warm up the muscle, send blood and prevent injury.
Today it has been shown that it does send blood to the stretched muscle, but it takes away your strength.
And stretching after exercise… What are the benefits?
Studies continue to show that stretching after training is more beneficial as it promotes circulation and helps eliminate toxins.
They also reduce muscle pain and fatigue and, importantly, help keep your muscles and tendons elastic.
The more elastic your muscles are, the further away from the injuries they will be.
Stretches of between 20 and 30 seconds per muscle group will be perfect to achieve these benefits.
Remember, you should never feel pain when stretching. They must be nice. Don’t always push the muscle to its limits, as you could also cause an injury. Always nice. Always nice.
If you’re already stretching, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re going to start with them, go slowly. You will notice that each week you can stretch a little more easily. Always pleasant and above all, always constant. And if you have an electro-stimulator, remember that you can also use it to stretch. Take a look at this article where I’ll explain how to do it.
And what can you do to warm up without stretching?
What has always been done; progressive warming?
For example, dynamic, gentle and progressive exercises such as gentle jogging, knee lifts, arm twisting, leg swinging, all of this little by little, very gently and very progressively.
4-5 minutes is enough.
If you had any questions, I hope you remember the CAED the next time you ask yourself the question… When is it best to do stretches?