Secrets of the physical game
Do you often feel stiff? Why does just getting out of bed feel like a major task? The mind is telling but the body is slow to react. Do you wish you were more flexible?
Secret: Being flexible does not ensure the absence of injury!
Stretch, stretch, stretch to prevent muscle pulls – that is the song I’ve heard from trainers and coaches for years. But the fact is, stretching may help you feel more flexible, but that’s about as much benefit as you will get from it.
How is this possible?
Studies have concluded that stretching does improve flexibility, but being flexible doesn’t prevent injuries. Injury rates are higher for both the most flexible and the least flexible. Most injuries happen when the muscle is going through its normal range of motion, so having an increased range of motion had no effect in preventing such injuries.
Should You Stop Stretching?
The study concluded that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to recommend people stop stretching, nor was there good evidence to suggest people start using stretching. The bottom line is, if stretching feels good for you, do it. If you don’t like stretching, put that time into some warm-up and balance exercises instead.