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18.03.2016


Ballistic or static stretching before doing resistance training? Both are wrong...

Bodybuilders, fitness fanatics and other strength athletes do fewer reps per set if they stretch their muscles before working out. It makes little difference whether they do ballistic or static stretches write sports scientists at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in the Journal of Human Kinetics. Both kinds of stretching lead to a reduction in the intensity of the strength training.

Study
The researchers did an experiment with 9 sports-minded men in their twenties, none of whom did strength training. The subjects did a resistance training workout for their legs on three different occasions. The workout included leg-presses, leg-extensions, leg-curls and calf-presses.

The men trained with the amount of weight with which they could just manage 12 reps. [12RM]

On one occasion the subjects did an old-fashioned warming up session for their legs. Just before starting the weight training they did one set of 20 reps with a third of the 12RM for each exercise. [SW]

On another occasion the subjects stretched the muscles they were about to train by doing passive-static exercises [PSS]. And on yet another occasion they stretched using ballistic exercises [BS]. For an overview of these and other methods of stretching click here.


Ballistic or static stretching before doing resistance training? Both are wrong...



Results
During the workouts the subjects taken together completed fewer reps after performing stretching routines than when they did weight-lifting sets to warm up.


Ballistic or static stretching before doing resistance training? Both are wrong...


Ballistic or static stretching before doing resistance training? Both are wrong...



Conclusion
"Static and ballistic stretching should not be recommended before a resistance training session because according to the presented results, a pre-exercise stretching session hinders the subsequent resistance training performance", the researchers wrote. "Further research is needed to investigate the influence of different stretching strategies on an upper body resistance training session, in different populations, and of different training levels."



By the way, stretching your muscles at other times than just before starting a training session does have a positive effect on strength athletes. Stretching the antagonist muscles that you train during a workout can help you to squeeze more reps out of a set and, according to research done by Joke Kokkonen, your maximal strength increases by stretching your muscles on non-training days.

Source:
J Hum Kinet. 2015 Mar 29; 45: 177-185.

More:
If you stretch your pecs when you train your lats you'll manage more reps 02.12.2015
Combine strength training with stretching and you'll get stronger 29.03.2010
Stretching before training reduces strength 30.10.2009

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