We’ve all heard everyone say that stretching is a vital part of the exercise routine, however, many of us think of stretching as something to do with the extra time we may have left at the end of our routine.
It is important to note that stretching may help improve your athletic performance when done before and after a work-out. Stretching has many benefits.
What are the Benefits Associated with Stretching?
According to the Mayo Clinic, benefits of stretching include improved flexibility, which in turn will increase the range of motion in your joints, thus allowing your muscles to work more efficiently. Stretching will also improve the blood flow to your muscles and may help decrease lactic acid build-up, which may allow for a better performance with less soreness.
So, How Can Stretching Prevent Sports Injuries?
Improved flexibility and range of motion may decrease injuries such as muscle tears and sprains. Increasing the range of motion in your body will help you generate more force, and feel more comfortable reacting to situations. In theory, this may mean that stretching will help you react to situation in sports that may cause injury easier and quicker, so that these injuries are prevented.
When and How Should I Stretch?
“Stretching is an important component of exercise. Stretching before and after a work out or activity helps to prevent injury and enhance athletic performance. It is useful to develop a consistent stretching and warm up routine.” says Intercoastal Medical Group Orthopedic Surgeon/Sports Medicine specialist, Jason Collins, MD.
While there are no definitive answers to this question, most sports medicine physicians will agree that stretching (both dynamically and statically) before and after every work out will help increase your flexibility. It is dangerous to do sudden stretches such as “cold splits” without warming up first, and stretching should never be a warm-up but rather as part of the work-out.
If you have any questions about stretching or sport related injuries, make an appointment with Intercoastal Medical Group today to speak with one of our highly trained Sports Medicine Physicians. To request an appointment online, click here.