A common quandary is whether stretching should be done before weight training (as part of a warm up), during a workout or after a session has finished.
Firstly stretching a muscle cold can heighten your chance of causing an injury. Lets use blu-tack as an analogy. Think of a ball of blu-ack and trying to stretch it whilst cold. You will find that it is quite difficult and can even pull both ends apart, right? Now warm the ball of tack up by kneading it in your hands and then try to stretch it, you will now find that it lengthens quite easily. You can see that warming up the muscles before embarking on stretching is pretty important.
However, research shows that performing a static stretch on a muscle before you train can in fact cause a significant loss of strength during your lift. The same is said for stretching during your workout. Alternatively you may consider giving your muscles a quick, light massage instead in-between those sets. Stretching the antagonistic muscle to the one that you are working, for example if you have worked the bicep muscle then stretch your tricep muscle, if you have worked your quadricep muscle then stretch your hamstring muscle has been documented to increase strength and improve recovery between sets, then once you have finished your sets on that body part, you can continue into a static stretch of the muscle that has just worked.
Before training - Don't stretch cold and don't stretch the muscle you are about to train.
During training - Stretch the antagonistic muscle to the muscle you are training.
After training - Stretch the muscles you have just worked
Ask for further details on your next visit - For bookings please contact Samantha Leighton on 07788 718179