Are you struggling to improve your mobility? Are you performing the same stretches for the same muscle groups before every session? Have you ever stopped and asked yourself WHY? Think about it, if you’re performing the same stretches before every session, it’s safe to say that static stretching is NOT actually solving your mobility issue. If it did, would you need to stretch every day to get the same benefits?
Static stretching definitely provides a short-term relief in the muscle tightness and improves range of motion, but it does not appear to provide a long-term solution. Current literature supports the claim that static stretching (as well as dynamic and PNF stretching) provides a temporarily increase in range of motion. The increase in range is likely the result of decreased tendon stiffness and/or neural adaptations that allow for increased tolerance to stretch.
If stretching allows for a temporary increase in range of motion, we should take advantage of the Overload Principle and load our tissues in this new range of motion! By loading our tissues, we have a better chance to sustain long-term changes. Better yet, the literature also suggests additional exercise after an acute bout of stretching for increasing range of motion!
If you are in a constant battle with your hip mobility, try these loaded strategies before you train:
Goblet Squat + Iso Hold
Alternating Cossack Squat
The mechanism behind static stretching still needs further research, but current literature suggests a short-term benefit. If we have a short-term benefit, we should take advantage of the Overload Principle and load our tissues following the stretch! There’s nothing wrong with static stretching, just follow it up with a loaded activity for improved mobility!
- Apostolopoulos N, Metsios GS, Flouris AD, Koutedakis Y, Wyon MA. The relevance of stretch intensity and position—a systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology. 2015;6. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01128.
- Behm DG, Blazevich AJ, Kay AD, Mchugh M. Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2016;41(1):1-11. doi:10.1139/apnm-2015-0235.