Beware, Stretching Can Cause Injury

Stretching before exercise is said to be the best way to avoid injury, but recently experts warn it may be wrong. According to researchers from the University of Zagreb, Croatia stretching not only lose your best ability but also make you more susceptible to injury. Because this exercise causes the muscles and tendons become loose.

Researchers can infer the findings after analyzing 104 studies related to stretching. From there, researchers found that competitive athletes perform static stretching decreased muscle strength up to 5.5 percent.

Even muscle strength will be reduced if the athlete stretches conducted last for more than 90 seconds.

"If the stretching done in less than 45 seconds may be negative effects will be reduced, but the muscles are already experiencing stretch usually not so strong," said researcher as reported by the Daily Mail, Saturday (06/04/2013).

Stretching the muscles and tendons indeed become more flexible but at the same time, both are not really ready for action, including providing little support to the muscles and tendons so the risk of injury is high.

To avoid injury, the tendon needs to be very elastic. But stretching makes it so elastic that the tendons are less able to cope with large energy that is placed on them during exercise.

Even researchers uncover stretching can also affect other body parts. Previous studies conducted at University of Texas found that stretching on a muscle can interfere with the performance of other muscles that are not stretched. For example, stretching the left leg muscles will weaken the muscles in the right leg. Allegedly this is caused by the stretching effect on the nervous system.

In line with the findings of this study, another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that young, healthy men who do stretching before lifting weights can only overcome the heavy burden of 8.3 percent smaller than usual after static stretching. In other words, stretching causes people who do feel 'weaker and more easily swayed'.

The solution, researchers suggest that everyone warmed up with movements that will be used during the exercise, such as leg kicking up and running in place.