More About Stretching
If you are a walker, runner, swimmer, yogi, ball player, or ANYTHING in between...read this stretching article from the NY Times
. It includes up-to-date research that we all need to hear to keep our body performing at their best: "The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them."
I see many of my fellow professional dancers do 4 or 5 leg swings and a split in order to "warm-up" then am not surprised when they comment on how sore they are after a performance. It is KEY to warm up the body with small range-of-motion exercises that get the blood pumping and heart rate increased before you do any stretching. My rule of thumb is no stretching beyond a natural, strain-free range of motion unless I have broken a sweat which usually takes about ten minutes of aerobic activity.
Read the posted article by Gretchen Reynolds for further details then enjoy your stretch!