Although the effect and use of stretching exercises has been increasingly questioned in recent years, stretching exercises are and remain an elementary part of sport. Only the question when and how to stretch is controversially discussed. The maintenance and promotion of mobility is an indispensable element in many sports activities.
It is not without reason that mobility is a conditional ability besides endurance, strength and speed. Stretching can release tension and thus have a relaxing and calming effect. Especially after long work in a certain posture and/or position, tensions often occur.
Stretching exercises can also help with shortened muscles and can correct existing imbalances. Bad postures can thus be avoided and the entire musculoskeletal system benefits. Stretching optimizes muscle tone and leads to increased blood circulation.
As a result, the muscle can be better supplied with nutrients and the necessary minerals and can recover well after a strain. The metabolism activating effect contributes to the complete regeneration of the muscle and replenishes all nutrient stores. Another advantage of stretching exercises is the comprehensive prevention of injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Stretching reduces the risk of a muscle fibre, muscle bundle or muscle tear. Tendon and ligament injuries also occur significantly less with a regular stretching programme. The joint mobility is additionally increased and thus improves not only the overall mobility of the body but also the coordinative performance of a person. Stretching exercises therefore have many advantages and make an important contribution to the health of our body.
Disadvantages of stretching
Disadvantages of stretching exercises are actually not apparent at first glance. However, the effects of stretching exercises are not always positive. Stretching exercises before and after a training session are time-consuming and rather boring exercises where there is not much to do.
A disadvantage is that stretching exercises reduce muscle tone and have a calming effect. Therefore you should only do stretching exercises if you want to relax and calm down. Stretching exercises are counterproductive, especially in sports with a high proportion of explosive strength and/or maximum strength, and can sometimes reduce performance enormously.
Studies have shown that passive-static stretching can reduce the maximum strength between 4 and 20 percent. In the case of explosive strength, a loss of between 3 and 10 percent can be expected. So if you do stretching exercises before sprints or weight lifting, you are correspondingly slow, or perhaps cannot lift your usual weight as often as you are used to.
A negative influence of stretching on strength endurance has also been demonstrated. The question of when stretching is sensible and when not has probably been asked by everyone at some time or another. It should be noted that stretching does not always have positive effects.
Whether stretching exercises should be performed or not depends on the sport in question. Personal goals also play a role when using stretching exercises. If, for example, you want to improve your mobility, stretching is definitely recommended, as it increases the mobility in the stretched body parts, muscles and ligaments.
Stretching exercises can also help with tension and cramps. Especially monotonous activities often cause tensions that can become very unpleasant. Here, stretching exercises can help to release the tension and relieve the pain.
If the pain remains for a longer period of time, a doctor should be consulted. Cramps often occur in the middle of a load, for example during a competition. By stretching the cramping muscle, it can be released and the activity can be continued.
However, the spasm will only last for a short time, and sooner or later the spasm will return. In sport, stretching exercises should be isolated and considered as a single training session. A training plan can be designed as follows: A certain mobility of the muscles is recommended for all sports.
In sports where mobility determines performance, stretching exercises are an integral part of the training plan. These sports include gymnastics, dancing, gymnastics and figure skating. – Mondays: Strength training
- Tuesday: Stretching
- Wednesday: Endurance