We stretch for lots of reasons: Because it feels good, because it’s part of our pre-workout routine, because a muscle is stiff and we think stretching will fix it. But most of what we know about stretching—and thus the ways we use it—are based on wishful thinking and outdated science. We’re stretching for all the wrong reasons. Stretching is steeped in tradition and myth. Like targeted fat-busting, it makes for catchy headlines and glib locker-room advice, but the science doesn’t back up the assumptions that athletes embrace. In many cases, stretching does the opposite of what it’s promoted for. You already know that it doesn’t prevent injuries. It also doesn’t cure muscle soreness; in fact, aggressive stretching can cause muscle soreness. And pre-workout stretches, far from preparing you to work out, actually rob you of strength. Here’s the truth behind some of those persistent myths: Stretching Doesn’t Cure Muscle Soreness I often hear athletes asking each other, “Do you know a good stretch for this muscle?” Said before or during a workout, it’s almost always because the person has a sore muscle and is looking for a way to fix it. This almost makes sense: It feels good to stretch… Read full this story
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