Stretching – Yes we need to do this
Have you ever gone to sit down and your legs felt very tight? Have you done a workout after months of being sedentary and then found the next day or so that your body was sore? Have you ever heard of DOMS? DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It can occur for many reasons. I’ve had DOMS after being violently ill many years ago with food poisoning. I’m happy to say that I have never experienced that level of illness since.
Delayed onset muscle soreness is actually microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. I know that tears sound a little concerning, but this is the way your muscle tissue breaks down and rebuilds as you gain strength. According to research conducted by Zainuddin, Newton, Sacco, & Nosaka (2005), participants were given massage to be applied after eccentric massage. Eccentric involves the lengthening phase of muscle work when training with weights or performing cardio exercises. The results indicate significantly less soreness for those participants who received massage approximately four days after exercise.
Stretching is also a good way to prevent injury. We often neglect or skip this portion of our workout program after we complete our workouts because our minds are starting to focus on the next task that must be completed as we begin our day. The theory behind stretching and injury prevention is because of the increase in flexibility of a muscle-tendon unit which is promoting performance and decreasing the total number of injuries associated with a particular muscle group (Witvrouw, Majieu, Danneels, & McNair, 2004).
The two reasons noted above are enough to add value to the stretching component of our workouts. We also need to ensure that the muscles are nice and warm, which adds pliability to the muscle tissue when being stretched. The analogy often used to associate stretching with cold muscle tissue is to imagine a rubber band, which we have put in the freezer. You can certainly picture the results if you try to stretch the rubber band before the cold has completely left the rubber fibers. OUCH!!!!!
So, as we examine stretching this week, we will continue to examine the benefits, we will look at some excellent stretching techniques and we will also include lists for stretching muscle groups to facilitate your stretching routine. So, until tomorrow; stay healthy, stay hydrated and stay focused. Health and well-being are up to you and I’m sure you are all working towards a higher quality of life.
Zainuddin, Z., Newton, Mike, Sacco, P., & Nosaka, K. (2005). Effects of Massage on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, Swelling, and Recovery of Muscle Function. NATA Journals, 40(3), p. 174-180.
Witvrouw, E., Majieu, N., Danneels, L., McNair, P. Stretchting and Injury Prevention; An obscure relationship. Sports Med., (2004); 34(7); 443-9. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200434070-00003. PMID: 15233597