The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Stretching between sets

    If this is basic info, sorry for being so.. Basic.

    I read once a long time ago that it's important to immediately stretch the muscle(s) that you just completed a set on. E.G.: You step off the calf raise machine, and you should then stretch your calves right away.

    Is there a physiological benefit to doing this, or not?
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

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  3. #2
    Wannabebig Member achilles89's Avatar
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    Stretching muscles between sets results in a decrease in strength of up to 20%. There seems to be little benefit of stretching post workout when your muscles are engorged with blood and your CNS fired up. Why not have a mobility/flexibility session after you have cooled down and had your PWO shake?

    This stretching roundtable on tmuscle appears to have good information.
    Last edited by achilles89; 01-31-2010 at 03:48 AM.

  4. #3
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Why not have a mobility/flexibility session after you have cooled down and had your PWO shake?

    Trust, me: I'm all for that. I'm only posting the question to get the real answer to something that I wasn't sure about. Thanks for the input.

    Why exactly does stretching during sets hurt performance? (I'm not doubting the answer, I'm just looking to learn more about the physiology side of things.)
    Last edited by Bosch232; 01-31-2010 at 06:01 AM.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

  5. #4
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    The current thinking (as far as I know) is that static stretching dampens the response of the nervous system temporarily during the subsequent bout of high force contractions (i.e. the next set). I thinking stretching anytime after your main strength work is probably fine. Many people prefer it right after they lift while they are warm. I do all my stretching at a separate time at night while I have the TV on. In my opinion, as long as you aren't doing a bunch of static stretching right before your lifting, I don't think it really matters all that much when you do it.

  6. #5
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    All good information here, there, everywhere.
    Mobility work first and static stretching last
    Also, foam roll if you so choose to care
    For present health now and injury in the past.



    (Just for you, Offroad )
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 01-31-2010 at 01:33 PM.
    Sarvamangalam!

  7. #6
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Thanks buddy. Consider me entertained
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  8. #7
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    Stretch after your sets but not between. Unless you have an injury or pain that you are working on, in which case some stretching between sets may help.

    I don't know where that 20% figure came from. It seems a ridiculously high number.

    Stretching after working out enables you to stretch farther as the muscles are already warm, it can stretch the muscle fascia which is conducive to growth, it can be part of the warm-down process and its possible that stretching may help shuttle more blood and nutrients into the muscle. Some body-building programs have you perform intense stretching after the set.

    I usually do a few minutes at the end of my workout and then stretch again before I go to bed. Both sessions are useful but the one post-workout feels like it achieves more because my muscles are already warm and I can relax into stretches more effectively.

  9. #8
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles89 View Post
    Stretching muscles between sets results in a decrease in strength of up to 20%. There seems to be little benefit of stretching post workout when your muscles are engorged with blood and your CNS fired up.
    is that true? i never knew that. interesting

  10. #9
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    It's true. I've read some of the studies myself. I don't know of the exact %, but it does temporarily decrease strength. This doesn't mean you shouldn't stretch, just don't do it right before things like lifting, sprinting, or jumping. If you stretch tonight, it's not going to have adverse effects on your lifting tomorrow.
    The part about not stretching post-workout is more of a matter of opinion and not set in stone.

  11. #10
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    I sit at a desk all day...if I do not stretch my hamstrings/hips before going to the gym, I cannot even get into a squat position. My hamstrings tighten up like no other...some people are naturally loose and can just do some dynamic warm ups to get loose. I have to stretch just to be able to start a dynamic warmup.

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