So I came across a video by a couple of physical therapists that explained how stretching is a waste of time unless it addresses a specific issue. These guys were thorough, had a bullet point reference on the matter and explained each point clearly. While I agree with the science of it all, I vehemently disagree on the holistic side of it.
Now, I’m a personal trainer and massage therapist, their skill set and knowledge level are different from mine.
That said – I don’t tell people stretching is a waste of time because anything you do that gets you moving and makes you feel good should be embraced! Hallelujah!
I view static stretching as something that “feels good” and not having a lasting effect on the muscle length (unless you are holding the stretch for long periods of time, very long). I consider dynamic stretching more beneficial to a moving body, and the winning medal goes to (drum roll…..) neuromuscular stretching. With neuromuscular stretching you start getting the nervous system involved and that creates a lasting effect leading to decreased tension and improved mobility. It involves active and passive ranges of motion and it’s best to have a therapist lead you through it.
I’m a big believer in developing a program that trains and prepares the body for a lifetime worth of movement. I implement corrective exercise and continually assess movement because the body shifts and adapts to what we put it through.
Keep stretching if it feels good. Remember to seek balance of strength and mobility around a joint. Seek professional help if you’re experiencing chronic tension that is limiting your movement.