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Stretching at the Gym

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Saturday, November 13th, 2010 in Q&As

Can you tell us a good stretching routine for gym visits?

Believe it or not, stretching is pretty much useless. According to some very convincing studies (you can read a brief synopsis here, and the full version is in the March 2004 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Medicine), unlike what many believe, stretching does not prevent injury. With that being said, as a general matter, doing full-body stretches before a workout doesn’t really do anything except get your blood flowing.

With that being said, my general rule of thumb is simple: when you exercise, do a little bit of warm up work before you begin any specific activity. For example, before you begin doing heavy weight bench pressing, do a set of low weight repetitions of that exercise in order to get your blood flowing and to make sure you get your form right. This applies to cardio activities as well — before going on a full run, advance from a light jog, allowing your blood to flow and your body to prepare for the exercise itself. This kind of warm-up work is especially crucial to those doing very heavy weights, as going from no exercise to incredibly heavy weight lifting can be dangerous unless you are adequately prepared.

I know it may be a little strange to not formally stretch before a workout, but so long as you don’t go full blast the second you step into a gym, your body simply doesn’t need the stretching. Save yourself the time.

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One Response to Stretching at the Gym

  1. Muscle Building Diets says:

    Is stretching enough if you want to lose weight? What types of stretches work best?

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