Stretching To Improve Flexibility

Stretching is the most neglected, and often misunderstood component of fitness training. The only reason to stretch is to improve flexibility. Do not count on it for anything else.

In 2004, the CDCP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) closely analysed 361 research studies, and discovered there is no correlation between stretching, and injury prevention, or muscle soreness. To make a long story short, do not count on stretching to improve your performance, decrease your chance of injury, or decrease muscle soreness.

Most people are still misled by this flexibility training fiction. You should only be performing stretches to improve flexibility, and expect no other benefits. By clearing up the fitness confusion, and understanding this simple concept, you can correctly incorporate flexibility training.

Please understand that flexibility is a fitness program component you should not neglect. Many exercise participants forego stretching because they really don’t understand its benefits. It is as important as strength training, and cardiovascular work. Do not neglect it! You will be sorry in years to come.

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Is Stretching Worth Your Time?

When I was taking Exercise Physiology classes in college, many years ago, we were always taught to stretch before, and after workouts to prevent the chance of injury, and also decrease the possibility of soreness.

For many years, this was the standard. Therefore, I have always advocated stretching. Of course, I was always interested in decreasing the change of injury, but my other main goal was to increase clients’ flexibility.

Sounds good so far, right? Stretching is awesome!

Not so fast.  What all the experts originally thought about injury prevention, and decreasing soreness may be completely wrong.

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Stretching Flexibility Exercises May Not Prevent Soreness

I am sure you have heard many times that stretching before, and after your fitness program will prevent muscle soreness. Well, that might not necessarily be the case. Since stretching, and flexibility are one of the important components of an effective fitness program, it is something most fitness participants incorporate into their workouts.

A recent study at the University of Sydney, in Austratia, examined the relationship between stretching, and the reduction of muscle soreness. Read More…

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