Monday, November 18, 2013

Let him that would move the world first move himself.
- Socrates

My Opinion

Like so many other subjects, some say stretch before and others say after exercising.  Most of those that recommend stretching suggest to do it after exercising, when the muscles have been "warmed up" by the activity.  I used to stretch before or after exercising but no longer stretch during the exercise period. Why?  Probably because of the way I "warm up" for each exercise.  Example:  If deep knee bends are to be done the first set is using about 50% of what the maximum load will be.  Then another set using about 75% of the maximum load and both sets 8-15 reps are used.  Rather than doing fewer reps I prefer to do the exercises at a full range of movement, thereby utilizing the capability's of the joints, ligaments, and tendons involved.

The purpose of the multiple set "warm ups" is to work the same muscles as in the final set when I like to fatigue the muscles to failure.  After failure I do 1 set of drop downs (reduce the load as necessary to do another 5-8 reps).  Stretching is okay for those that like and think its beneficial to reduce post-exercise discomfort.  Personally, I think the procedure mentioned above is much more specific to the muscles being exercised than stretching.