Do You Even Stretch Bro?

   |   By    |   Categories: Fitness  
0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 StumbleUpon 0 0 Flares ×
Training for any sport, professional or recreational, athletes recognize the benefit of a strength and conditioning program…but what happened to stretching?  StretchingThere are many reasons for stretching’s lack of popularity.  Aesthetically, stretching doesn’t produce the same outward appearance as does strength training. The muscle development gained during an 8-week training program, is much more apparent than that of the gains achieved during the same time stretching.  Let’s face it, strength training makes you look sexy, stretching… not so much.  This is most likely the reason why training designed for high school, college and professional athletes lack stretching as an essential part of their program.

Strength trainingWhen athletes do stretch, they usually refer to their days in elementary school rainy day gym class, where their coach had to “waste” time with stretching.  These stretches are usually non-specific, holding a specific position for the hamstring, groin, etc., never making strides in flexibility, regardless of the sport/activity the athlete was training.  Even worse were the programs incorporating short jerky stretches proclaiming to “warm-up” the muscle before practice or competition.  In either case, the athlete is worse off than they would be if they didn’t stretch at all!

So, is stretching just as important as strength and conditioning for optimal performance?  Yes- if the stretches are performed correctly.  It is not enough to find an accurate position to stretch in, but also the correct parameters to get the most benefit from your stretch.

This equates to:

Properly warming up the body + Developing each stretch with proper intensity duration and frequency = Optimal length and flexibility for optimal function

Where to start?  You cannot start until you evaluate your flexibility (range of motion).  Once your evaluation is complete, individualized programs can be designed to increase your sport-specific flexibility.  Instead of a generic stretching program, a specific flexibility program will be much more responsive to individual needs as they change over time.  Evaluations also establish a baseline from which to measure gains.  This way, you are sure to meet your range of motion and sport performance goals.

At Back to Function, we design programs that may be setup in special intervals or periodized over the course of a year to compliment your training schedule.  It’s never too late to get in shape, and stay flexible. For more information on what Back to Function can do to help you, please contact us at or call 310-534-1900. We want you to feel, recover and perform better!

Reference: Ann and Chris Frederick: Stretch To Win 2006 
Dr. Mike Venezia
About Dr. Mike Venezia

Dr. Mike Venezia graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Summa Cum Laude in 2006. Dr. Mike has more than 13 years of clinical experience in the diagnosis and management of sports and soft tissue injuries. He is currently living in Washington and is the medical director for Addaday.

©2023 Back to Function. All rights reserved.