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Monday MythBuster #27: "You should always stretch before exercising”

Monday MythBuster #27:

At least once in your life, you’ve heard the well-meaning advice insisting that you stretch before exercise. But not only that – stretching before your workouts was taught at PE classes for decades…

And many of us, including me, have never questioned that routine.I was convinced that stretching is absolutely necessary. Until I learned that stretching before your workout actually does more harm than good.

How is that possible?

Well, a recent study at the University of Nevada found that static stretching temporarily decreases muscle strength by up to 30%!

How crazy is that?

By following the common wisdom on stretching, you’re actually starting your workouts 30% weaker.And to make this even worse, static stretching doesn’t seem to help with injury prevention, either.

That’s why I don’t do (and don’t recommend) static stretching anymore before working out.That doesn’t mean, however, we can’t prevent injuries and make our workouts more effective.

Because the truth is, dynamic warm-ups can increase strength by pumping blood into your targeted muscles. 

Here’s a couple of dynamic warm-up exercises you can do before your next strength training:

  • Jogging 
  • Biking
  • Lunges
  • Jumping
  • Arm circles

Although stretching is not a good idea at the beginning, it’s absolutely recommended at the end of each session.

When you stretch after your strength training, you will:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Decrease muscle tension
  • Prevent pain
  • Improve the range of motion
  • Speed up your recovery

Now, to recap – stretching won’t help you lift more nor prevent injuries if you do it before the exercise, but it’s massively helpful for recovery if you do it after the exercise.

If your goal is to lift more and prevent injuries, you need to do a dynamic warm-up before you start lifting. This is how you get the blood pumping into your muscles.As you can see, your training progress will depend not only on the exercise you do, but also on what you do before and after the exercise.

Stretching and warm-up are just a part of the equation. If you want to do your best every time you hit the gym and break your personal records often, you should also make sure that your body gets everything it needs.

From both the food you eat AND from the supplements you take.Your body needs electrolytes to keep you hydrated during the exercise and it needs amino acids to build the muscle after you tear it up.

Currently, it’s hard to find both electrolytes and amino acids in a single lab-tested product. Which is exactly one of the many reasons why we’ve created Oh!mino.

Stay fit my friend,

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Michael

Founder & CEO

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