I made a thing about stretching! Some of the images are hard to see, but if you click on them they should produce a larger image!
Image sources that aren’t mine (the three routines):
THIS SHOWED UP ON MY DASH. WHAT.
Thanks for this.
Stretching can be good, but it isn’t ALWAYS good. It can destabilize your joints, if you do it where it’s not needed.
The Simple Rules:
1. Do not do stretching for areas with existing joint instability and/or injuries.
2. Do not do stretching beyond a range of motion you plan on regularly using - usually the activities in your sports and daily life.
3. Make sure you can do resistance/strength training that involves the full range of motion you plan on using. If you can stretch to positions you cannot use muscle strength, you are in a position you can easily damage your joints.
More useful science:
"Stretching" usually involves doing several things:
1. Breaking up minor adhesive tissue.
Your body is always laying down extra tissue, this is a part of your healing process and being alive. When you move, you break it up, and the directions you don’t move, it stays, providing extra support. Regular motion through normal movement or casual yawn-type stretching will do this fine.
2. Resetting Muscle Length
Your body has a natural reflex action to protect your joints - if your body is being moved too fast in a certain way, the muscles lock up to prevent the joint from being damaged. This is the reason people get muscle tears - something moves too fast, the muscle locks up and takes the damage, instead of the joint. Muscles heal faster than joints.
When you do a warm up, by going through the same motions you plan on using, starting slow and getting up to full speed, you reset the nerves in the muscles to accept this as “ok” so it doesn’t do that.
When you stretch beyond your expected range of motion, you ALSO set the muscles to accept that, and then you end up lacking stabilization when you need it.
It’s this potential of understretching, overstretching, or failing to accustom the muscle spindles to take speed, that can cause injury. That’s why the research about stretching tends to bounce around in terms of less/more injuries. Bad stretching opens you up to injuries as much as no stretching. (This, too, is also why massage and muscle relaxation can either be good or bad, depending on the use and activity).
3. Tissue Alteration
You can, with a long period of regular stretching, eventually lengthen your muscles to some amount. After that, you’re stretching tendon. Unlike muscle, tendon doesn’t bounce back to shape - it’s like a rubber band that has been pulled too hard, it now becomes loose and floppy, and you lose a LOT of stabilization.
Ironically, the muscles will then tighten up to try to take up the slack and keep your joints from going unstable.