By Steven J. Fleck, Ph.D.
I’ve heard that you just shouldn’t stretch proper earlier than a weight-training session as a result of this may lower your maximal energy and energy. I’ve observed, nonetheless, that almost all of the research wanting on the results of stretching proper earlier than a coaching session have studied folks with little or no stretching expertise. I’ve been stretching for years and need to know if stretching proper earlier than a weight-training session will nonetheless lower my maximal energy and energy throughout the coaching session.
You’ve made a really astute statement. You’re appropriate in that almost all of research wanting on the results of stretching previous to a weight-training session on energy and energy have typically centered on folks with little or no coaching historical past of stretching. Nonetheless, one sports activities science analysis challenge addresses the doable results of a stretching coaching historical past on whether or not or not stretching proper earlier than a resistance-training session impacts maximal energy and energy in a coaching session. You’ve been stretching for years; this research checked out college-aged women and men who had been stretching for at the very least 10 weeks in bodily training courses. These college students weren’t aggressive athletes, however had been recreationally lively in all kinds of sports activities akin to basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, tennis and weight coaching. In order that they had been at the very least “recreationally” bodily match. Additionally they had fairly good flexibility, with all research members having a sit-and-reach flexibility rating higher than the sixtieth percentile.
In an effort to take a look at the impact of stretching on maximal energy, the school college students carried out a stretching routine for the hamstrings and quadriceps muscle teams proper earlier than dedication of their one-repetition most within the knee curl and knee extension. The stretching routine consisted of 5 completely different stretches for the hamstrings and quadriceps. They repeated every stretch 3 times, holding for 15 seconds to the purpose of discomfort, after which taking a 15-second relaxation between successive stretches. Your complete stretching routine took about 20 minutes. After stretching, their one-repetition most in each the knee curl and knee extension considerably decreased in comparison with no stretching. Knee curl one-repetition most decreased roughly 3.4 %, whereas knee extension one-repetition most decreased roughly 5.6 % after stretching, in comparison with no stretching.
The outcomes point out that even in individuals who have a stretching coaching historical past, stretching proper earlier than a coaching session would lower maximal energy and energy. The folks on this research had a stretching coaching historical past of 10 weeks; you’ve been stretching for years, so there’s the chance that with an extended stretching coaching historical past, the impact on maximal energy and energy may very well be completely different. Nonetheless, you may make physiological arguments both in favor of an extended stretching coaching historical past (leading to much less of a lower in maximal energy and energy) or rising the lower in maximal energy for energy, in comparison with folks with no or a comparatively short-term stretching coaching historical past.
So, if in case you have a stretching coaching historical past of a number of years and are actually fascinated by expressing your maximal energy and energy, it’s best to in all probability err on the facet of warning and never carry out stretching previous to your resistance coaching classes. As an alternative, carry out your stretching routine after the coaching session, because the impact of stretching on maximal energy and energy is an acute impact, and stretching after the coaching session gained’t have any impact in your maximal energy and energy within the following day’s coaching session.
It’s additionally essential to do not forget that the impact of stretching on maximal energy and energy solely takes place within the muscle teams which can be stretched. This implies you may stretch your legs proper earlier than an arm exercise and there wouldn’t be an impact on the utmost energy and energy of your arms. I hope this offers you some steering regarding your stretching routine.
Nelson AG, Kokkonen J, and Eldredge C. Power inhibition following an acute stretch will not be restricted to novice stretchers. Res Quart Exerc Sport, 76:500-506.