How do I know you’re stretching too much before weight lifting? I don’t even know you, and I certainly don’t know what your pre-exercise routines are. Because by and large, EVERYONE spends a lot of time doing static stretches before and during their weight lifting routines.
A lot of us stretch because it’s been programmed into our brains our entire lives. It’s advocated by coaches and personal trainers all over the world, but the problem is that stretching consistently fails to show much benefit in sports medicine research. In fact, there are studies that say it can actually decrease certain measures of athletic performance.
In a recent study, men were asked to perform a 1 rep max squat after different warm up sessions.
One warm up included a dynamic warm up (leg extensions, leg curls, and light squats). The other group used static stretching of the legs in addition to the dynamic warm up. The average exercisers were then asked to perform their 1 rep max squat, and rated their stability during that squat day. Here are the results:
Passive Stretch Group: 8.36% DECREASE in strength and a 22.6% DECREASE in sense of stability.
Another study showed that strength training without stretching before or during a workout showed increased strength output and increased insulin-like growth factor in the blood compared to the groups that stretched before or during a work out.
The Problem with Static Stretching
When patients in my office ask for advice about stretching, I often try to redirect them towards exercises instead. The problem with stretching is that it seems to affect how effectively a muscle can contract.
While it’s not going to have a huge affect on muscle contraction for things like endurance exercise or high repetition exercise, it can have a significant effect on power output.
That means any situation where you want to have explosiveness and power, you may be limiting yourself by static stretching.
Stretching before working out is like taking a rubber band beyond it’s normal limits. When you stretch a rubber band too much, you start to lose the snapping ability that a tight rubber band once had.
What Should I Do Instead?
Now let me be clear, I’m NOT recommending that someone should simply start throwing a bunch of weight on the bar as soon as you go into the gym. Working out cold is never a good idea.
I’m also not saying that stretching is useless. I encourage people to use some light stretching (less than 30 seconds) to achieve your desired range of motion, and to recover AFTER a hard workout.
But for your pre-workout routine, there are better alternatives for performance and injury protection.
Instead of sitting around and “lengthening” your muscles, you should be getting your body warmed up by doing light activity that is similar to what your workout will look like.
For ideas on how to warm up and to keep your body functioning optimally, give us a call or come by Straight Up Chiropractic in Tigard, Oregon on the corner of SW Scholls Ferry Rd. and N Dakota St. Dr. Halsy would be happy to give you some advice.
I’ve been asked by a lot of my family, friends, and patients, what conditions can chiropractors treat?
We actually treat a lot of conditions, almost any condition that you can think of. But, we do tend to stick with a main four, at least I do, we treat a lot of headaches, car accidents, which actually can be a lot of different conditions, the injuries that are sustained in a car accident are a lot of the things we do here at Straight Up Chiropractic. Also, Back pain in general and neck pain. Those are our 4 main ones – headaches, car accidents, back pain, and neck pain.
We focus on those main four because within those we can get into other injuries. We have patients come in saying their neck hurts, when it turns out it is starting in their shoulder. We can treat the shoulder, which alleviates the neck pain…most patients end up that way, come in thinking their lower back hurts, when it is really their hip. Those are some of the conditions that Chiropractors treat.
Our office is on Scholls Ferry Rd. in Tigard, OR. Come see Dr. Halsy today!
Schedule online at www.schedulicity.com or call our office at 503-716-8281
At Straight Up Chiropractic we make it our goal to provide exceptional chiropractic care to the Tigard and Beaverton area.
The focus of this post is on treatment plans. Goals of a treatment plan can be separated into short term goals and long term goals. In general, short term goals often include decreasing intensity and frequency of discomfort, increasing pain free ranges of motion, and decreasing positive exam findings. Long term goals focus on increased functional mobility and how to decrease the likelihood of reoccurrence or new injury onset. Re-evaluations and patient feedback are documented to see if these goals are being reached.
The recommended treatment plan goals and visit frequency are based on researched ethical expectations that take into account stages of the condition and biology of injured tissue. Researchers, such as Perry Nickelson, author of Stop Chasing Pain, Gray Cook, physiotherapist, and Craig Liebenson,DC, have effectively defined reasonable times of the body’s healing process with conservative treatment. It can confidently be stated you should expect 80-90% of acute symptoms to be gone within 2-4 weeks of treatment, about 5-6 visits, when utilizing chiropractic care. The last 10-20% of treatment takes a bit more time, active effort, and compliance.
Research also supports that combination care is more effective than the individual treatments alone. Chiropractic adjustments, muscle work, exercises, diet, and rest are more effective together than simply choosing one route. Long term goals, chronic pain conditions, and injury prevention are dependent on this combination.
At Straight Up Chiropractic we try to support easy compliance. At our office patients have the option to schedule out their appointments as far into the recommended plan as they wish. This allows for patients to consider their schedules and progress. Payment is collected at time of service to ease financial comfort for the patient and to hold us accountable to your visit today.
At Straight Up Chiropractic, we vow to never recommend more treatment that what is reasonably and ethically necessary. We hope to provide as much flexibility in scheduling and payment options as possible to ensure that time and finances are on the patient’s side to ease compliance to treatment. We are here for you and want to see your success.