Do you feel social pressure to show that you are limber, in part due to the popularity of yoga?<p>
Most athletes remain convinced that stretching helps their body and performance. But the experts don't agree. The truth is that after dozens of studies and years of debate, no one really knows whether stretching helps, harms, or does anything in particular for performance or injury rates.
The New York Times is reporting that:
"For the bottom line on stretching, there is an official government review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the March 2004 issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Its conclusion, that the research to date is inadequate to answer most stretching questions, still holds.
The best that Dr. Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and one of the study’s authors, can offer is a few guidelines and observations about why studies have yet to answer the stretching questions.
If your goal is to prevent injury, Dr. Gilchrist said, stretching does not seem to be enough. Warming up, though, can help. If you start out by moving through a range of motions that you’ll use during activity, you are less likely to be injured.
In fact, Dr. Gilchrist said, in her review of published papers, every one of the handful of studies that concluded that stretching prevented injuries included warm-ups with the stretches."
You can read the rest of the Stretching News HERE.