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Does stretching really help with Soreness?

Muscle Building
By Najid Sheikh

Be it any gym goer, almost all of them experience delayed onset of muscle soreness(DOMS). It’s basically the pain you face a few hours or a day after your workout. In the market ,stretching has been believed to be very helpful to deal with this soreness. Though stretching is good for multiple reasons ,the current literature isn’t very supportive of this particular claim.( (1. Herbert RD) (2 (2005 & 40(3):218-220.) More research is required as the current ones are not perfect but there is common conclusion of most research ,that is, dynamic or static stretching doesn’t cause significant reduction in muscle soreness. So should we not do stretching? The practical takeaways would be- Stretches can be done in following sequence as there is not harm in doing these- Dynamic stretching before workout- It can improve performance (3. Fradkin AJ & 19996770.) (4. McCrary JM & 25694615.) and few studies suggest they can have a little positive impact on the soreness but not significant. (5. Ingham) (6. Olsen) Static stretching after workout- Since we are doing this after workout it will have no detrimental effect and it can help with the flexibility and deal with the stiffness for a while. (7. William D Bandy) References: Herbert RD, de Noronha M, Kamper SJ. Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD004577. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004577.pub3. Accessed 18 February 2021. Andersen JC. Stretching before and after exercise: effect on muscle soreness and injury risk. J Athl Train. 2005;40(3):218-220. Fradkin AJ, Zazryn TR, Smoliga JM. Effects of warming-up on physical performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):140-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643a0. PMID: 19996770. McCrary JM, Ackermann BJ, Halaki M. A systematic review of the effects of upper body warm-up on performance and injury. Br J Sports Med. 2015 Jul;49(14):935-42. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-094228. Epub 2015 Feb 18. PMID: 25694615. Ingham, S.A., van Someren, K.A. and Howatson, G., 2010. Effect of a concentric warm-up exercise on eccentrically induced soreness and loss of function of the elbow flexor muscles. Journal of sports sciences, 28(13), pp.1377-1382. Olsen, O., Sjøhaug, M., Van Beekvelt, M., and Mork, P. J. (2012). The Effect of Warm-Up and Cool-Down Exercise on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness in the Quadriceps Muscle: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Human Kinetics 35, 1, 59-68, Available From: Sciendo [Accessed 18 February 2021] William D Bandy, Jean M Irion, Michelle Briggler, The Effect of Time and Frequency of Static Stretching on Flexibility of the Hamstring Muscles, Physical Therapy, Volume 77, Issue 10, 1 October 1997, Pages 1090–1096,
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