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Static Stretching

Jul 02, 2013 - 12 comments

Static stretching before a workout good. What it does is force the target muscle to relax, it makes it weaker. The result, is a strength imbalance that can occur between opposing muscle groups. An example is stretching your hamstrings causes them to become weaker than your quadriceps. And that could make you more prone to muscle strains, pulls, and tears. When you static stretch it also reduces blood flow to your muscles and decreases the activity of your central nervous system that inhibits your brain's ability to communicate with your muscles, which limits your ability to generate force. That said don't perform static stretching before you work out or play sports.

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by specialmom, Jul 02, 2013
What is static stetching?  Anything like static cling?  

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by specialmom, Jul 02, 2013
^stretching!

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by gymdandee, Jul 03, 2013
When you stetch it's almost like a stench :>)  Only if you stretch in a gas dryer not electric will it cause cling :>)
Mommy, Have you ever seen a person when standing take hold of one foot and bend it back to the buttocks they are stretching the Quadriceps (front of thigh) that's a Static stretch.

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by specialmom, Jul 03, 2013
Hm.  What makes it static?  

If there is ever a stench when I stretch, you have to be so kind as to tell me.  How embarrassing!  I tend to cling to whatever is nearby in pain when I stretch, static or otherwise . . .

Is static when you aren't warmed up first?  I actually was trying to understand.  My son is super tight.  I've been trying to help him stretch more.  He's athletic and plays a lot of sports but he is NOT flexible at all.  I'm worried about an injury for him.  His muscles are so tight that I envision him snapping them easily!  

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by Barb135, Jul 03, 2013
Specialmom - have you ever looked into yoga for your son?  It could really help him relax his muscles. It's excellent exercise; maybe the 2 of you (actually 3 of you, as you  might as well get both sons involved) could do it together, since it would be good for you, as well.

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by specialmom, Jul 03, 2013
I have explored this.  Do you know it is kind of hard to find a yoga class that allows children to participate?  I guess a lot of yoga-ites don't want kids around.  My son recently turned 9 which means I can bring him to classes at my Y.  It doesn't seem like they love this but the rules say I can do it.  ???   I might try that.  They only have a couple of classes he can do but I might try that with him.  

I have tried it at home with a dvd and he is kind of resistant.  He is also resistant to stretching.  He's my son with sensory issues so he feels things either not at all or way more than anyone else.  Asking him to work through the discomfort is a  hard thing for him.  He got limber when he played on a team that had a coach that really worked on conditioning--  but in youth sports, those are few and far between.  He's on a competitive swim team that starts back up in the Fall (we do swim team Fall, Winter and early Spring rather than the summer.) and they have a conditioning coach.  ???  Not sure what they do but they spend a half hour two times a week doing conditioning.  

He is noticeably muscular and noticeably inflexible.  I do worry about an injury!!  

So, when I read this---  I was trying to figure out what it was talking about.  I've worried that if we sit in the family room together while we watch some evening tv relaxing and I begin stretching with him that going into a cold stretch and pushing too much may actually end badly, as in he hurts himself.  This journal reminded me of that.  But then I wasn't sure if that was what it was talking about.  

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by gymdandee, Jul 03, 2013
You shouldn't stretch before! What you should do is warm up. If your going to run or use a treadmill start walking to warm up the muscles and that brings blood to the area! Then you start to pick up the pace. stretching before exercise is not just counter productive, but potentially harmful.
Traditional stretches, like when people bend over to touch their toes or stretch their legs on a fence, often cause the muscles to tighten rather than relax  exactly the opposite of what is needed for physical activity.
Experts say it is like extending a rubber band to its limit. When people stretch to the maximum, they are more likely to pull a muscle. Kieran O'Sullivan, an exercise expert at the University of Limerick in Ireland, who has studied various types of stretching and their impact on athletes.
When you stretch before exercising, your body may think it's at risk of being overstretched. It compensates by contracting and becoming more tense. That means you aren't able to move as fast or as freely, making you more likely to get hurt.
O'Sullivan said stretching helps with flexibility, but people should only do it when they aren't about to exercise, like after a workout, or at the end of the day.
After you exercise then do a light stretch!

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by Paxiled, Jul 04, 2013
Don't know why this popped up on my screen, but it did, so I'll jump in a little.  All you need for a warm-up is a little walk or a couple of minutes of light bicycling on a stationary bike or a couple minutes on the treadmill.  Then you can stretch.  If static stretching was always bad for you, yoga would be bad for you as well.  The important thing is to learn how to stretch properly and in a flow and not to stretch too hard but gently.  It also depends on what you're stretching, meaning how big the muscle in question is.  Bigger muscles are obviously harder to stretch than smaller ones.  I've been in way too much physical therapy, which involves a lot of stretching.  Sometimes they warm you up, sometimes they don't.  My own feeling is nobody knows how to do anything involving the body correctly, but we all have a theory!

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by gymdandee, Jul 04, 2013
That's what I'm saying warm up to get the blood flowing! Foam rollers are also good! Not the greatest but good.
http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/lookup/filter/equipment/id/14/equipment/foam-roll

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by specialmom, Jul 07, 2013
Hm.  I just need to figure out a way for my son to stretch his very tight muscles.  His developmental delay makes it harder to get him to do things that are good for him (covering many of life's good for you things).  He's the kid that won't realize he is pushing too hard if he goes into a cold stretch but then again, doesn't do things that are at all uncomfortable so might not even try to push the stretch at all.  he's challenging to this mom!  But I need to get him stretching.  He does get the correlation to an overworked muscle being stiff and how stretching makes it feel better.  So, I'll build off of that.  Maybe start him doing something physical in the back yard and bring him in for family stretch time.  I'll get him to do it even if I have to bribe him with m&m's (they help stretching, right?)

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by gymdandee, Jul 08, 2013
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/stretching-tight-muscles/?page=1

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by specialmom, Jul 09, 2013
Thanks!  Will check it out.  

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