Stretching

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Stretching is a topic that has been well-explored by on the , offering various insights and research-backed information:

Key Points about Stretching

  1. Importance and Mechanisms:

    • Stretching plays a crucial role in movement, injury prevention, and even reducing inflammation in the body. It interacts with basic body plans and involves neural and connective tissue changes 1.
  2. Types of Stretching:

    • Static Stretching: Holding a position for an extended period. Can be either active (using muscle force) or passive (relaxing into a position).
    • Dynamic Stretching: Involves movement-based stretching, often used to warm up joints and muscles.
    • PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation): Combines stretching and contraction of muscles, often with assistance.
  3. Frequency and Duration:

    • A moderate commitment of 5 days a week for better results, but longer hold static stretches (60 seconds) done fewer times can also be effective.
    • All forms, whether static, dynamic, or PNF, can improve limb range of motion, with static stretching often providing the greatest gains 2 3.

      Science of Stretching

      Andrew discusses the science behind flexibility and stretching, including the mechanisms that mediate these features and their fundamental role in movement, injury prevention, and inflammation reduction. He also presents the best times and ways to stretch, including the different types of stretching and their applications in sports performance and pain tolerance.

      Huberman Lab

      Improve Flexibility with Research-Supported Stretching Protocols | Huberman Lab Podcast #76
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  4. Stretching Before Exercise:

    • There is debate over the benefits of static versus dynamic stretching before exercise.
    • Static stretching can help increase range of motion and stability, which can be beneficial for proper form and injury prevention during weight training, despite possibly reducing the maximal weight lifted.
    • Dynamic stretching can warm up the neural circuits and muscles, potentially improving performance 4 5.
  5. Intensity of Stretching:

    • Low-intensity stretching is more effective in increasing flexibility than high-intensity stretching that approaches the pain threshold. The optimal intensity is about 30-40% of the threshold where pain starts 5.
  6. Aging and Flexibility:

    • Flexibility naturally decreases with age, starting around 20 and continuing post-49 with a typical 1% decrease per year. A dedicated stretching practice can help offset this decline 6.

For more detailed explanations and practical protocols on stretching, you might want to check out the full episode titled .

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