Back stretches first thing in the morning can put the discs in your back at risk, says Ted Dreisinger, PhD, FACSM, researcher and managing partner with Therapy Advisors, consultants specializing in the treatment of chronic back and neck pain. “Spinal discs become hydrated during the night which creates more pressure on them when you first wake up. This also makes them more prone to stresses such as stretching.” Warm up with small activities (getting coffee, brushing your teeth) for about 10 minutes before stretching.
- Stretching is exercise for the muscles like sea water is hydration for the body. When you’re desperate for relief, it feels so right but it’s just so wrong.
- All athletes, especially runners, are so passionate about stretching. They defend it like their political association, religion, or family. many of them may have pictures of their kids in their wallets doing all types of cool stretches that they show their coworkers every day at the water cooler. “Look at my little one sitting on both his elbows!”
- Runners will follow any trend they think will make them run faster. Whether it’s a new supplement, pair of socks, pair or shoes, custom orthotics, or stretching. They’re the first in line for Kool-Aid.
- Stretching is a conditioned behavior, not one we are innately born with.
- Animals are actually contracting muscle groups when they look like they’re holding a “stretch”.
- Flexibility is a reflection of overall health and fitness. Stretching does absolutely nothing for health or fitness. It’s not exercise. It’s not a warm-up or a cool-down. And it definitely doesn’t substitute for restful sleep or a wholesome diet which will lead to natural flexibility.
- Yoga is not stretching. Stretching is not yoga. Enough of that claim.
- Make sure you stretch if you want to weaken muscles, promote injuries, decrease performance, delay tissue healing, and have absolutely way too much free time.
- Stretching reduces injuries and improves endurance performance just like certain shoes will make you run or jump faster. Neither claim is true.