Why is this still an issue in the fitness industry? Stretching what? muscle, connective tissue? I still wonder how many FT’s know why a muscle has tension and what happens to a muscle and its connective tissue when you “stretch” it? Did your certification include a study on Neurology? Love to hear your opinion?
The latest ACSM stand on stretching is do it, especially if you have been sitting immobile for over 30 minutes. It is still an ACSM recommendation for all adults. However there have been some changes such as use of dynamic stretching for athletes.
Here are the basics for the general populations, google the 2011 position stand for details.
Adults should do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.
Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort.
Repeat each stretch two to four times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.
Static, dynamic, ballistic and PNF stretches are all effective.
Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FLEXIBILITY EXERCISE? Per ACSM
Although joint flexibility decreases with aging, flexibility can be improved across all age groups. Joint range of motion is improved transiently after flexibility exercise, chronically after approximately 3-4 wk of regular stretching at a frequency of at least two to three times a week, and it may improve in as few as 10 sessions with an intensive program. Flexibility exercises may enhance postural stability and balance (83), particularly when combined with resistance exercise (38). No consistent link has been shown between regular flexibility exercise and a reduction of musculotendinous injuries, prevention of low back pain, or DOMS.