Does stretching reduce injuries?


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Does stretching reduce injuries?

Postby lovetorun » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:18 pm

Age old question, but I'd like to hear what board members think.

I do 4-5 slow stretching exercises, after my cardio workout...am I wasting my time?

BTW I also do a couple of muscle strengthening/toning exercises i.e. push-ups, abdominal crunches.
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Postby Daisy » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:21 pm

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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:07 am

Here is an article i wrote for the English magazine, Running Free. I know stretching help me to avoid injuries but it is totally individual.

DID YOU STRETCH?

Do you know the first thing the fastest land animal on Earth does when it
wakes up? If you guessed open its eyes you are a smart ass. The first thing Cheetah does is stretch. How do I know? Well, my cat Felix stretches and if it’s
necessary for a fat and lazy housecat in order to survive the 50 meter trip downstairs to his feed bowl, then it’s a prerequisite for the Cheetah before cranking it up to 114k an hour chasing down an antelope on the Serengeti plain . You know what kind of animals who refuse to stretch? The fat ass Hippo and the chunky Rhino, that’s who! These stiff legged behemoths make me sick. Now which animal do you want to emulate?

Should you stretch? Yes, maybe and I don’t know. Could I be vaguer, yes, maybe and I don’t know? Everyone is different in terms of flexibility and stretching requirements. There was a top runner on my team in high school who was naturally very tight. Touch his toes, why he could barely touch his knee caps!

I am also naturally tight. I went to a doctor for lower back pain and after checking my flexibility he said, “The real problem is you have the tightest hamstrings I have ever diagnosed”! He went on to say the back of my legs were tighter than a Bee’s bum and asked me if I stretch. I lost my temper and responded “Yes i stretch you demented fool!” The doctor took a swing at me, I ducked and we hugged, anyway if I stretch, my hammys are tight. If I don’t stretch, my hammys are tight. I’m here to tell you I’m tight!

But I stretch and I stretch and I stretch. I lightly stretch before I run - calves, hamstrings, quads and groin. After a jog of 8-10 minutes I stretch again with a touch more vigor. If I’m running an out and back course I will stretch at the turn around. At the end of the run I again stretch.

On rare occasion’s, thank God, one of my leg muscles will be so sore I can’t run and I will need to take some time off. It is then that my lovely wife, Lorelie, will ask, “Did you stretch? You didn’t stretch did you? You have to stretch you know. Have you been stretching?” YES I STRETCH WOMAN!!!!

I want you to think of your muscles as un-chewed gum, hard, stiff and a little brittle. This is the condition of muscles that are not warmed up. Now imagine that same gum chewed for 20 minutes. Yep, those are your leg muscles after a good warm up and stretch. People don’t have much luck trying to stretch a piece of un-chewed bubble gum, but after a saliva bath and proper chew they can blow a bubble the size of London. So warm up your legs and gently chew on them, you’ll thank me later.

I can’t over emphasis the need to be slow and easy when you stretch. Lorelie pulled her hamstring once and it wasn’t cause by sprinting up hill in high heels. She was stretching the suckers. This can happen to you if you’re not careful. I wanted to get revenge by asking her, “Well, did you stretch, huh, did you stretch?” Oh boy did she stretch. Stretching isn’t a competition and if it was Gumby would always win anyway so don’t push your self. For those who don’t know who Gumby is, he is green, 6 inches tall and made of very flexible rubber.

I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t like to stretch. It’s not fun. In fact it’s a pain in the arse but better than the alternative. If you ever do decide to stretch, after reading all this crap, do not bounce. Slowly reach until you feel a slight pulling sensation and hold that position for 10-15 seconds. Relax and repeat.
I couldn’t find my car keys awhile back and searched everywhere for them. It eventually hit me there was one place I hadn’t looked. Yes of course, Count Dracula’s coffin!

I crept down to the basement and slowly opened the shinny wooden lid and wondered what products Dracula uses on this old wooden box to keep it looking so smashing. I spotted my keys in the Count’s breast pocket. As I softly pulled the invaluable car starter device from his eighteenth century smoking jacket it occurred to me this is how we should stretch our hamstrings, carefully and in a state of total terror.
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Postby gadlor » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:06 am

As I softly pulled the invaluable car starter device from his eighteenth century smoking jacket it occurred to me this is how we should stretch our hamstrings, carefully and in a state of total terror.


I hadn't realized you had taken up writing Borges-style magical realism, Squackee. I approve!
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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:08 am

gadlor wrote:
As I softly pulled the invaluable car starter device from his eighteenth century smoking jacket it occurred to me this is how we should stretch our hamstrings, carefully and in a state of total terror.


I hadn't realized you had taken up writing Borges-style magical realism, Squackee. I approve!


I hadnt realized that either but thank you!
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Postby Rye Catcher » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:26 am

Forget this stretching crap. Become a couch potato and really enjoy life. You never get all sweaty, unless your lady jumps your bod, and you don't live too long. Look at europe, too many old people, low birth rate, Europe is dying and we don't want to be like them. So avoid injury, and a long life and get on that sofa and start eating all that really good food you have been avoiding for so long. The best life is on the sofa, not the track.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:41 am

Rye Catcher wrote:Forget this stretching crap. Become a couch potato and really enjoy life. You never get all sweaty, unless your lady jumps your bod, and you don't live too long. Look at europe, too many old people, low birth rate, Europe is dying and we don't want to be like them. So avoid injury, and a long life and get on that sofa and start eating all that really good food you have been avoiding for so long. The best life is on the sofa, not the track.


To quote Todd Rundgren, "The rocking chair beckons like a junkies needle."

I'm looking forward to being 85 years old, pants hiked up so far that my belt is just below my chin, sitting in a rocking chair and slowly sliding into eternity.

It's a constant struggle to run and workout approaching 60 but that makes it all the sweeter.....for now.
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Postby lovetorun » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:19 pm

Rye Catcher wrote:Forget this stretching crap. Become a couch potato and really enjoy life. You never get all sweaty, unless your lady jumps your bod, and you don't live too long. Look at europe, too many old people, low birth rate, Europe is dying and we don't want to be like them. So avoid injury, and a long life and get on that sofa and start eating all that really good food you have been avoiding for so long. The best life is on the sofa, not the track.


I enjoy the couch and the track, great food and the trail! I live in the good ole USA and am not concerned about Europe...
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Re: Does stretching reduce injuries?

Postby Marlow » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:20 pm

Now more research out (see front page) on the DISadvantages of static stretching. We do static stretches to improve range of motion (e.g., the hurdlers' stretch) that dynamic exercises can't get to, but that about it.
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Re: Does stretching reduce injuries?

Postby 18.99s » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:05 pm

Marlow wrote:Now more research out (see front page) on the DISadvantages of static stretching.

It's only about the disadvantage of static stretching right before other exercise; it's not saying that stretching or static stretching is always bad.

It's also a bad idea to lift weights right before a running workout or race, but that doesn't mean lifting weights should never be done.
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Re: Does stretching reduce injuries?

Postby jhc68 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:15 pm

I've read various pro and anti stretching articles but all I have to judge their validity is my own subjective experience. As a former jumper/hurdler I am absolutely sure that without stretching I would have suffered a whole lot of strained hammies and hurdle collisions and very few improved marks. But that's just me, and maybe I'd delusional.
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