According to Jeff Galloway's book on running, stretching is the third greatest cause of injuries to runners. It is important to stretch safely, regularly, and timely.
Oddly enough, stretching is an excellent preventor of running injuries. Regular and slow stretching improves running performance by increasing your range of motion and coordination. Stretching increases: flexibility, balance, releases stiff joints reduces muscular tension, improves circulation enhances muscle tone. Long relaxed muscles allow to you run faster for the same energy expenditure. You'll run faster for the same amount of oxygen use. Energy will not be wasted to propel your formerly stiff muscles slowly. Instead, the energy will propel your fluid muscles forward at faster speed.
No pain, no gain was redundant the day it was first used.
In Rochester, Minnesota, Says, "no pain, no pain" may be a better philosophy.
Never hold a painful stretch. You should back off just to where it's not painful, and hold for the duration of the stretch." Stretching lengthens muscle tissue, making it less liable to trauma and tears. Stretching should be a relaxing part of your exercise session.
Maintaining sufficient flexibility for your running and other activities. Be sport-specific — Concentrate on the range of motions and the muscle groups which you use in running. Start slowly and gently. Hold your stretch — It takes time to lengthen tissue safely. Hold your stretches at least 30 seconds — and up to a minute with a particularly tight muscle or problem area. Stretch 'warm' muscles —
Stretching a cold muscle can strain the muscle fibers. Warm up first. I think it's more beneficial to stretch after you exercise, when the muscle is heated by blood flow and is more amenable to your request.
Bouncing causes microtrauma in the muscle, which must heal itself with scar tissue. The scar tissue tightens the muscle, making you less flexible — and more prone to pain. Bouncing sets up a vicious circle.
Balance your shocks. Equalize your body. A tight hamstring can cause a knee injury that side. Ask sports medicine specialists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, or orthodedists and podiatrists for stretching advice.
According to the Mayo newsletter.
Mayo sports medicine doctors are researching whether total relaxation of a muscle may be an important part of achieving flexibility, perhaps apart from or in combination with stretching. Anecdotally, they've observed a high degree of flexibility in "tight" people while they are under general anesthesia — even though their muscles are structurally the same as when they are awake. Although it's too early to draw conclusions, the theory behind this new research is that stimulation from the central nervous system influences the flexibility of muscles, and that relaxing a muscle may be a viable method of enhancing flexibility.
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