How to stretch | Sanitas magazine

Is stretching after exercise beneficial?


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stretching doesn’t stop your muscles from aching and can even be counter-productive. It was long believed that stretching helped prevent sore muscles after sport. But since 2007, when the University of Sydney analysed ten studies on stretching, we’ve known for sure that stretching doesn’t have any effect on muscle soreness, irrespective of whether you stretch before or after exercise.

In fact, stretching immediately after intense sporting activity can even be counter-productive. Static stretches (holding stretches in the same position for a long time) in particular reduce blood circulation in the muscles, which increases the risk of sore muscles and injuries. Stretching is not a form of relaxation or regeneration for muscles. In fact it makes them work harder. After an intensive workout, you should wait at least 45 minutes before stretching.

One thing is however certain: stretching makes you more flexible. This explains why martial artists, gymnasts and also golfers always have a warm-up program incorporating stretches. Stretching can also help relax tense and contracted muscles, a common problem in today’s rather sedentary society.

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