Stretching to prevent injuries do not bother says CDC
According to Stephen Thacker, Director of Epidemiology Program Office at the CDC, when referring to stretching he said \"We could not find a benefit.\"
Athletes who stretch may feel good, but they should not use stretching to stay healthy, he said. The CDC team looked through reams of studies about stretching.
They poured through five large studies, combined their data to see if they could see a pattern, a pattern that would indicate some benefit from stretching. They found nothing to indicate any benefit from stretching as a means of preventing injury from exercise.
You can read about the study in the March issue of the American College of Sports Medicine journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
They found that people who stretched were doing themselves no harm. However, they were not reducing their chances of suffering injuries or pulled muscles.
Injuries, they found, happened within the muscle?s normal range of motion. Therefore, stretching would not have made a difference.
What does reduce your chances of injury, said Stephen Thacker are:
-- Warming up
-- Being in good shape
-- Having strength and balance
He also added that the exceptions may be gymnasts and dancers. They require great flexibility and stretching could help their performance.
He has nothing against stretching, as long as it is gentle. Ballistic stretching, which includes sudden fast movements have been found to increase injury risks.
When you strain a muscle, it is usually because a muscle has to react suddenly to control your movement.
v Comment from the Editor of Medical News Today
I go to the gym every day. I religiously stretch at the beginning of each workout. I have always felt I was doing the right thing. Now, I wonder whether I have been wasting my time. Maybe the focus should just be on the warm up instead.
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