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Stretching is extremely important in order to keep the muscles from being too tight so they can function in balance with each other. This helps prevent the injury cycle associated with muscular imbalance. However, there are some common misconceptions when it comes to stretching.
Myth #1: Stretching is only necessary before working out:
Stretching can be done before, during and even after every workout depending on what’s going on with your body. If you have a muscular imbalance and you’ve released trigger points in the tight muscles stretching is an important component to balancing out your muscles, along with the correct exercises to strengthen the opposing muscles that are too long and loose. Stretching before a workout can help you avoid compensation patterns that may lead to injury and further imbalances. Stretching during a workout can ensure that you keep the muscles balanced out between exercises and prevent cramping. Stretching after a workout can ensure that the body returns to a balanced state and can help prevent soreness.
Myth #2: Stretching will prevent injury completely:
While it is true that stretching and releasing muscles may help to prevent injury, it is not a sure fire way to make sure an injury never occurs. Stretching the wrong muscles can actually cause injury. Being aware of what’s going on with your body and stretching only the muscles that are too tight will ensure that you are stretching to your benefit.
Myth #3: Stretching Should Only Happen A Few Times A Week:
Hitting the gym seven days a week may be a bit out of the question for some, however, stretching every day is a more pragmatic commitment for most people. This is the best way to reap the benefits which are increased flexibility, range of motion, and potentially reducing the risk of muscle strain.
Stretching can be a highly beneficial practice. However it is important to know which muscles to stretch and when in order to reap the benefits of stretching and avoid the pitfalls. Don’t stretch muscles that are already too long, it can cause injury and joint disfunction.
For a detailed assessment of your muscle lengths contact Santa Cruz CORE Fitness and Rehab to set up an appointment.