Stretching is extremely important for our health and well-being. We all know stretching can do a body good. More and more people are coming to understand the importance of a stretching routine, and flexibility is part of every exercise program out there. Over the past decade, you have been brainwashed into thinking that a few stretches here and there will steal your hard earned gains, decrease performance and maybe even cause injury. There are a surprising number of stretching myths you need to stop believing.

Myth 1: Stretching can lead to injury

Researchers are finding that stretching won’t necessarily prevent sitting out on the sidelines. Injury is due to many factors, including muscle imbalances, improper warm-ups and bad technique. Stretching after an exercise may be able to help you be less likely to be injured.

Myth 2: Flexible people don’t need to stretch

According to the research, stretching and warming up are still important for everyone in order to increase blood flow to muscles. Being naturally flexible is all well and good. And if you’re not naturally flexible, stretching can help loosen up those muscles and increase your agility and balance, preventing tightness and injury. Many people lose flexibility as they age, often because they simply don’t regularly move through their full range of motion. Taking a little time to stretch now can help you to maintain your flexibility. Stick to stretching, even flexibility goals are achieved.

Myth 3: Not necessary for younger people

With the quantity of sitting our younger people do, stretching is a great thing. Especially teenagers who go through rapid growth spurts. This can aid in the development of their joints and improve their structural stability, movement, and decrease joint damage through sports and activities kids like to do!

Myth 4: Cool down before you stretch

Many people believe that they need to allow their body to cool down and rest after their workout before they incorporate stretching into their routine. This is a common misconception. Your stretching routine should push the muscles beyond the range of motion in which your exercises where performed. Stretching the muscles you just worked out immediately after the workout

Myth 5: All stretching is the same

Not all types of stretching are the same. Static and dynamic stretching is unique. Static stretching is the most common and involves holding a stretched muscle for 15 to 30 seconds at a time. When preparing your cold muscles for strenuous work, it’s best to begin with dynamic stretching. This includes continuous movements through a full range of motion.

Myth 6: Stretching can slow recovery

Stretching can play a role in mediating localized inflammation and promoting active recovery and tissue healing when done on recovery days or in recovery focused workouts after the primary training is over.