Stretching before exercise? Did you pull it right?
Static stretching is what we often call stretching. Under the general concept, we would say that static stretching should be done before exercise.
But in fact, if you are healthy and not injured, and your muscles are not tight, you do not need to do stretches before exercise, but there will be adverse effects! This is related to a magical thing called muscle spindle contraction. What is muscle spindle?
It is a proprioceptor that detects muscle extension. When it detects muscle extension, it sends a message to the spine, and the spine immediately sends back a reflection signal to make the muscle contract. However, if the extension continues, the muscle cannot contract. , The function of the muscle spindle will be inhibited, and the function of the muscle spindle will be inhibited, and the function of SSC (stretch and contraction cycle) cannot be exerted in explosive actions such as running and jumping, resulting in a decrease in explosive performance!
Don’t understand the meaning? It’s okay, let’s explain in a simpler way We stretch the rubber band, and in order to prevent us from continuing to stretch the rubber band to break, we feel the rubber band resisting our tension, but after a long time, the rubber band will gradually become loose and the tension weakened. In other words, it loses its flexibility.
The rubber band is like a muscle. When the muscle spindle detects that it is stretched, it activates a protective mechanism to generate resistance to pulling force, and then gradually weakens.
So this is why doing static stretching after exercise can relax the tight muscles (the muscles are in a contracted state after exercise, and stretching can restore the muscles to their original length and maintain elasticity).
However, if we put static stretching in the warm-up, it will cause our next exercise training to lose the ability to contract muscles, sports performance will be affected instead, and it will be easy to get injured. It is recommended to do dynamic stretching before exercise.
Dynamic stretching can increase the temperature of our muscles and enhance the proprioception of the muscles. When the temperature rises, the ductility and elasticity will become better.
So what is dynamic stretching?
As the name implies: dynamic stretching is a kind of functional stretching exercises that use specialized movements to prepare the body for activities, emphasizing specialized movements rather than individual muscles. This kind of exercise can replicate the movements required for specific exercises as closely as possible. For example, the high leg lift imitates the knee lift in the sprint.
We do some exercises with bare hands, such as: opening and closing jumps, chest expansion exercises, weightless squats, leg-lifting, etc., to wake up our muscles and raise the temperature.
Therefore, we would recommend doing dynamic stretching during warm-up, which can achieve the warm-up effect we want, without triggering a muscle spindle reaction, and can also improve sports performance!