First we were told to hold stretches for long periods of time. Then it was all about dynamic stretching—so we ditched our lengthy quad stretches in favor of leg swings and butt kicks.
We may have been right the first time: A new analysis by four top exercise scientists (looking at more than 200 studies over several decades) found that in real-world conditions, static stretching for at least five minutes before a workout significantly reduces the likelihood of a muscle strain or tear, the New York Times reports.
It turns out, timing is everything: Holding individual stretches for longer than 60 seconds each actually can briefly inhibit your ability to generate power.
Instead, if you aim for around 30 seconds per stretch—making sure to target each major muscle group—you’ll be less prone to injury mid-dance cardio routine or CrossFit session, according to the analysis.
Or, if this debate is giving you whiplash, you can always clear your head with a sweat session at Y7—where the stretch is built into the workout. —Alison Feller
So, what will you wear during—and after—all of this stretching? This new collection is unlike anything we’ve seen in fitness fashion before.
(Photo: Larkin Clark)