By Deborah Dunham for Blisstree.com
Is stretching really necessary? Does it actually prevent injuries or lead to more? What’s better before a workout: dynamic or static stretching? There are a lot of questions out there about stretching and flexibility, so it’s hard to know what to listen to anymore. To get to the truth and confirm or debunk these beliefs, we talked with Sue Hitzmann, founder and CEO of MELT Method, who says there are a lot of myths about what stretching is doing to our bodies. And it’s worth learning about because “our connective tissue is what is so relevant to good health, flexibility, strength, performance, aging, and longevity.”
Here is the real truth behind the 10 biggest myths about stretching, according to Hitzmann:
Myth #1: If you’re flexible, you don’t need to stretch.
Well, that’s not really true. In fact, many people who appear to be very “flexible” are actually hypermobile in joints due to dehydrated connective tissue that surrounds the joints. For example, many yogi’s look super flexible–and they are–but it’s where they are flexible, near their joints that can ultimately increase their risk of injury, strained tendons and ligaments. Regardless if you are flexible or stiff, you should MELT to restore your connective tissue first, then apply strength and stretching modalities to your body. You will perform better and reduce your risk of injury by focusing on your connective tissue system before your muscular system.
Myth #2: You should only stretch after a workout.
Recent science is validating that if you hold stretches for long periods of time and then perform any strength based movements you actually decrease your ability to perform at high loads. It’s better to stretch after a workout so you can more effectively benefit from stretching.
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