Stretching is one of those exercises that you do without thought. You can do it the moment you wake up, when you’ve been sitting or standing for long hours, or even in preparation of a sports event or workout. Stretching allows you to remove the kinks in your muscles and frankly, stretching your muscles can actually make you feel better afterwards.Static stretching has been done not only before competitions or exercises but also afterwards. The idea behind this is that stretching can help minimize injuries while at the same time improve muscle flexibility and performance. However, there have been many debates regarding stretches. For those who want to get the most out of their stretch, you should consider the pros and cons of static stretching.
The Pros of Static Stretching
There are many advantages to using static stretching as part of your workout and these are:
* Anyone can do it. Since static stretching is super easy anyone can do it. It’s good for all ages including the elders who can’t execute dynamic stretching. You won’t be pressured to push yourself immediately especially when you’re just starting with your workout regimen.
* Increase one’s range of motions. This is one of the most important advantages of static stretching. Since the static stretches help improve your muscles’ range of motion, you’ll be able to execute your workout regimen better.
* Correct posture. Static stretching is effective when it comes to correcting one’s posture especially after working out. What happens after you work out is that your muscles are still contracting. With the help of static stretching, you can bring your muscles back to their original length.
* It’s safe to use. Static stretching is actually safe to use because you can take all the time in the world to push your muscles to their limits without worrying about going beyond what you’re comfortable with.
* Ideal for cramps, pains, and aches. If you’re suffering from any pain, aches, or cramps in your body, static stretching is better compared to dynamic stretches since the latter can only worsen the problem.
The Cons of Static Stretching
Although there are many benefits to static stretching, it also has its disadvantages. Here are a few worth mentioning.
* Reduces muscle capacity. There have been several studies that show static stretching to reduce the explosiveness of the muscles’ capacity to perform workouts especially when it is done prior to the training.
* Doesn’t prevent injuries. Since static stretching is just about holding a pose for a given time, it doesn’t make your muscles stretch but instead make them relax and elongated. It is better to
do dynamic stretches to help warm your muscles up especially if you’re going to do sprints, jumps, runs, and so on.
* It takes a long time to finish. Static stretching requires time because you need to hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds or more. Your warm up will take more time to get done especially when you want to stretch your entire body. This can affect the time you’ve allotted for your workout too.
* Limited stretching. Static stretches have limitations. For one thing, the stretches that you can do for each muscle is limited to its regular range of motion.
* It can be counterproductive when warming up. Warm ups are designed to get your blood pumping but in the case of static stretching, due to the prolonged stretching, your body tends to cool down. This makes your warm up ineffective and can even lead to injuries when you’re muscles aren’t properly warmed up.
* Not effective for certain muscle groups. Static stretches aren’t ideal for certain muscle groups which can inhibit your performance during your workout. In order for you to execute your workout properly, all of your muscle groups should be warm, loose, and flexible.
Now that you have an idea on what the pros and cons of static stretching are, you can decide whether this kind of stretching is applicable for you or not based on your workout. If you want to get the most out of your static stretching, the best time to use it is during the cooling down period so you can aid your muscles into going back to their original state. The stretches will also help you to relax and bring your heart rate down.
Sources: http://fitness.ygoy.com/2010/08/04/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-static-stretching/ http://steadystrength.com/be-aware-of-the-positives-and-negatives-of-static-stretching/