Stretching Muscles Creates Weakness and Instability, Can Cause Injury
Risks of Stretching
- creates weakness
- creates instability
- deforms joints
- causes ligament laxity
- tendon rupture
- bone fractures
- damages connective tissue
is that it increases flexibility- but at the cost of strength.
Stretching is not the only way to increase flexibility, and is actually the least desirable way!
Stretching increases range of motion, but also creates weakness and instability in that range of motion. It compromises the integrity of muscles and can create neuromuscular inhibition.
By definition, stretching puts the body into a position it would not normally go and does not want to go. In doing this, it overrides your body's natural defense mechanisms one of which we term "tightness."
We have been taught to "stretch out" "tightness" in order to gain flexibility. But why is there tightness in the first place?
Tightness is a symptom of weakness. It is your body's defense against instability.
When you over-stretch (that is what traditional "stretching" is), neuromuscular inhibition occurs, which means: the neurological input to a muscle is disrupted, so it loses ability to contract when at the shortened position (becomes weak), as well as the ability to properly regulate tension (becomes instable).
And instability can cause injury.
(Click the "COP" light to find out your potential for Injury!!)
One familiar type of injury is a "pulled muscle." We've all had at least one, and they are not fun. And we're sure we're not the only ones who have been counseled to stretch, for example, a hamstring, if it feels pulled, tight, and sore. But what is it anyway? Usually one that has been injured, torn, etc., through over-stretching!
So why would we stretch something that is already over-stretched?
Isn't that like hitting a bruise over and over to make it feel better? Almost. Except hitting a bruise doesn't feel very good...but stretching can.
That "feel good" or "oh yeah that hurts so good" feeling often associated with stretching is basically the body numbing or anesthetizing the area being stretched - so it doesn't have to feel the pain associated with the damage being done to it. Because this sensation can feel good, people think that it must be good for you. This can become an addictive cycle characterized by the perceived need and tendency to stretch, and stretch, and stretch...
And when stretching muscles is taken to an extreme, it will damage connective tissue, cause deformation in the joints, and create ligament laxity. Other extreme injuries include tears in tissue, tendon rupture, and bone fractures. Ouch.
N.B. We are not advocating tightness. We are advocating flexibility - but only in combination with strength, control, and stability. This is why we created
The Better Than Stretching Workout™