Fitness/Flexibility: Stretching Does Not Affect Delayed Muscle Soreness
Fitness/Flexibility: Stretching Does Not Affect Delayed Muscle Soreness

Fitness/Flexibility: Stretching Does Not Affect Delayed Muscle Soreness

Dick Moss

If you have ever and told your students to stretch before or after exercise sessions in order to prevent muscle soreness the next day, then... oops!

According to a recent review on research studies involving stretching and delayed muscle soreness (DOMS), stretching before or after workouts has little effect on DOMS.

The Review
The review, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, involved a total of ten studies. Three examined pre-workout stretching while seven focused on post-workout stretching.

None of the studies found an improvement of more than 1% in delayed muscles soreness that could be attributed to stretching. This was considered insignificant.

Conclusion
Stretching does have many beneficial effects including a better range of motion leading to improved performance, reduction of injury, mobility, recovery, maintenance of optimal posture, and even strength. However the reduction of delayed muscle soreness does not seem to be one of its benefits.


Reference: Herbert RD, de Noronha M. "Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4, 2007. http://mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD004577/frame.html

 

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