Dr. Kyle: What You Need to Know About Stretching

When recommending a stretching routine for a patient you must first consider their lifestyle and fitness/performance goals. If someone is a dancer or gymnast, they will require more flexibility and therefore need a more intensive stretching routine. If someone is a powerlifter or explosive athlete, they might require more stiffness and elastic recoil in their soft tissue. This type of athlete would need less static stretching. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to stretching, it all depends on the person.

Here is a short list of how stretching can influence your function:

Range of Motion
• Static stretching will increase range of motion.
• Stretch after your workout.
• 30 second holds.
• 2-3 x per week (increase or decrease depending on mobility demands in sport/lifestyle).

Injury
• Static stretching has not been shown to prevent sport related injury.
• Dynamic warm-up before exertion.

Recovery
• Not shown to improve recovery
• Active recovery to promote blood flow
• Proper sleep, nutrition, and hydration

Performance
• Decrease force production and speed.
• Increase range of motion / mobility.

Muscle
• Active and passive stretching increase hypertrophy.

As mentioned, stretching routines can only be recommended after considering the individuals lifestyle and mobility requirements. There is no right or wrong answer, it’s how you use it!
Contact me @drkylearam for any questions.