I often have patients admit to me that they don’t stretch, and they typically seem ashamed or act like they believe they should be stretching. Well, guess what. I don’t either - and I have yet to ‘pull’ a muscle.
**SPOILER ALERT** - static stretching doesn’t do what most people think it does and it's largely a waste of time. There are much better and proactive ways to spend your time.
There has been plenty of research that has shown that stretching doesn’t warm you up, it doesn’t prevent injuries or soreness, and it isn’t likely to enhance your performance. And furthermore, you can’t actually make a change in the length of muscle.
Now, with that said you can improve flexibility, at least temporarily. But you won’t see any long term change in the muscle. The changes we see are likely due to a neurological response.
Bottom line: if you like stretching, have at it. But if not, just know that you aren’t missing out on much and there are better ways to spend your time.
What are your thoughts? We want know!
Dr. Ladd's views on performance improvement, injury prevention and sometimes other random thoughts.