The Importance and Dangers of Stretching
After reading this article, I have found that there are two major different types of stretching. There is the passive method, which involves using something else, other than your own muscles to help you stretch farther. An example would be having a partner pushing on your back while doing a V stretch to get a greater stretch. There is also the active method, which used your own muscles and nothing else.
There have been claims that passive stretching can prevent injury among other things, but there is no scientific evidence to prove it. There is, however, growing evidence against passive stretching. Passive stretching can hurt your performance and cause injury over time. It can “decrease strength and muscular power output by 20%”. Also, soft tissue gets torn, making less muscle power that can be used. An exercise physiologist from the University of Minnesota found that passive stretching can make you more prone to injuries.
While getting greater range of motion from passive stretching, doesn’t carry over to the dynamic range of movement that pairs with sporting activities. Passive stretching may temporarily relieve certain muscle pains, but it is worsening the underlying causes of these pains. This is the least desirable method to increase flexibility. It is recommended that it is done only at the end of workouts and be followed with an active stretch of the same position.
Active stretching increases the range of motion, joint stability, and strength. Dynamic stretching, a type of active stretching, is recommended before training or practice. This gradually improves reach and speed of movement.
While stretching naturally occurs while exercising, an active or dynamic stretch should be performed before and after training, workouts, practice, or performing.
As an athlete myself, I found this rather interesting due to the fact that Physical Education teachers are pushing for us to be passively stretching. I never...