It was back in the early 2000s that static stretching started to fade away in the fitness world. Once thought to improve performance, it was discovered that static stretching actually resulted in a decline in performance – with its ability to lessen potential injury also touted as a myth.
In its place came “dynamic stretching” – active movements where muscles go through the full range of motion – and this was said to not only improve productivity, but also increase strength, speed, power and agility.
Static Stretching in Canada
Although dynamic stretching has been popular over the last couple of decades, there seems to be a shift going on right now in Canada. After the pandemic, it was revealed that 28% of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 were focusing more on their fitness – specifically, building muscle strength and flexibility.
With the ability to buy steroids online in Canada, active Canadians are also growing muscle strength quicker, which has made stretching even more crucial to ensure rapid increases and improved recovery. In light of this, static stretching has appeared to be making a bit of a comeback, and this is all down to a recent study undertaken at Memorial University, in Newfoundland.
New Evidence in the Static Stretching Case
The study – which reviewed 3,870 participants – found that static stretching could significantly increase the range of motion for regular and elite athletes, more so than both dynamic and ballistic stretching. Holding a stretch for longer than 15 seconds could also increase gains in muscle flexibility, rather than keeping the joints in motion.
The timing is important, however. According to recent reviews, static stretching immediately before an exercise can have a detrimental effect on flexibility and performance, as it decreases the visco-elastic behaviour of the muscles and lowers motor neuron excitability. For this reason, Canadians have been changing up their habits.
Rather than static stretching straight before exercising, they will instead focus on dynamic or ballistic stretching, and adopt static stretching as a regular exercise in its own right. According to this latest research, regular static stretching exercises can yield positive results, and even result in muscle hypertrophy if the muscle group is stretched for 30 to 60 seconds per day.
The Way Forward for Canada
The evidence points toward a very straightforward path for exercising Canadians. Static stretching is not killing workout routines – as it was said to back in the early 2000s – it is simply not being done properly. Depending on the timing and regularity of the exercise, rather than decrease visco-elastic behaviour, motor neuron excitability, activity of the muscle spindles, and sensitivity of nociceptors, static stretching can instead result in hypertrophy and an all-round better fitness performance.
If you want to get fit and are preparing your exercise routines, make sure to include static stretching as a regular occurrence, while choosing either dynamic or ballistic stretching immediately before a fitness session. If the studies are correct, this will be the best way to keep your muscles growing and ensure your performance only gets better over time.
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