Don’t Stretch while sore, here is why.
Stretch while sore: Let me start by clarifying that this article is about stretching for flexibility. Stretching for recovery or for energy flow or relaxation is a different topic.
When stretching for flexibility one’s goal is to lengthen the muscles and improve range of motion. A light passive stretch may not microdamage the muscles, but deep stretches do.
When they are combined with strength exercises for retention, there is definitely changes in the tissues and the body needs time to heal and adjust.
I posted the following in the private ES and EF groups. (These are supporting group for costumers.)
Stretching, while still sore from the previous session, is like biting another piece of food, before swallowing the previous one.
Normally, I don’t go into deep explanations, but here I feel this topic is so important, that anything which will help a person internalize the purpose of recovery should be explained deeper.
When muscles are trained (strength or stretching), before they completely recover, inflammation begins to build up. It adds up faster and faster, with each workout.
The body makes in attempt to control inflammation. Many changes happen, but we’ll focus on release of Cortisol. This is a hormone that is released in response to many things including inflammation.
Of course this hormone is released every time you have minor swelling. But the body quickly controls the swelling and moderates the hormonal release.
(Again there are many changes that happen, when there is inflammation the body, but we focus on this one to illustrate the point.)
Long time release of Cortisol puts the body into catabolic state or state of breakdown. Again many things happen here, but for our purposes the muscle tissue begins to break down. So likelihood of injury goes up.
At the same time, quality of sleep or sleep period is reduced. (You would get this from any type of over training, stretching included) A person becomes more cranky and impatient.
Mineral balance begins to shift. The last thing your body begins to be concerned with is muscles and flexibility. Muscles begin to tighten. Impatience sets in. Risk of injury goes up even more.
In ideal world it would take a long time for this to happen. In our world it happens a lot faster. Food toxins, environmental toxins, every day stress, all speed this up.
Why did I go into this?
Well, imagine you planned your workouts M,W,F. Now is W and you are sore. You are not going to skip W, cause if you do: next workout is Friday. And you are probably thinking. “I will never get anywhere, if I train like this” and you go and on and stretch while sore.
The goal of this article for you to re-consider doing that. Skip a day if you sore, you will get to your goal much faster and safer.