DownloadGet our free ebook: <br/>30 Days of Guided Meditation



As a member of the yoga community for many years, I regularly listen says made about how stretching affects their own bodies. These declarations vary widely, and I’ve examined everything from “stretching is a magical medication that will soothe all of your ailments” to “stretching is injuring for their own bodies, and therefore yoga is good for us.”

I try to be as evidence-based as is practicable in my coming to yoga, so I’m naturally skeptical of claims that appear to lack technical foundation. In fiat to clarify some of the truth versus story considering unfolding for both myself and “the worlds largest” yoga community, I decided to consult with relevant experts who is extremely up-to-date on the most current scientific research on stretching.

Dr. Greg Lehman, BKin, MSc, DC, MScPT, is a Clinical Educator, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, and Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He hastens the nations of the world schooling his Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science course to health& fitness professionals. He is also the developer of the “Recovery Strategies” pain workbook, which is an amazing, instructive, and free resource for anyone in pain. Greg’s work has had a profound impact on the therapeutic, fitness, and yoga/ flow worlds, and I am fantastically honored to boast his insight on my blog!


QUESTION 1: In the yoga life, there is a widespread contend that pulling can expand connective tissues like ligaments& tendons, causing them to become slipshod and leading to “joint instability”. Is this a biologically plausible statement?

ANSWER: There is no evidence that this actually happens. Pretty phenomenal, eh? There is indeed more proof that recommends when you attract( request friction) to connective material it greets by going stiffer, stronger and sometimes thicker. Old research by Dr. Woo has shown this consistently. The only consistent thing which are in a position to attain connective material little rigid is immobilization and injury. So, it is possible that people who advantage huge amounts of opennes may have at some spot shattered their material.

If parties feel “lax” because they stretch I would guess that it would be more of muscle or nervous system change. Beings may not have the strength in those scopes to control the action rather than the notion that they lengthened connective material constraints.

QUESTION 2: What precisely does “stability” necessitate when it comes to our joints, and is there suggestion to patronize that a lack of joint stability generates pain and/ or dysfunction?

ANSWER: A stable brace structure just conveys when it gets alarmed or jostled it comes back to its resting place. But, parties have expanded the definition to means that a joint exactly moves a good deal when you don’t want it to move. Seam uncertainty is an issue when a joint poppings out of arrange and does not quickly go back into plaza. It certainly does happen but I doubt it’s that common.

QUESTION 3: Can passively extending a muscle compromise its backbone( i.e. decrease its ability to produce troop )?

ANSWER: Not enormously, necessitating 1-5% of max impel yield[ if unfolding immediately prior to a strength act ]. And since we regularly don’t need to produce max patrol it’s not really such issues. And you merely get this transient thrust reduction when you regard a static stretch for 45 or more seconds. Some study( Blazevich) even suggests that these max troop/ strength loss are blunted or completely mitigated stipulated you do a warm up.

There is no reason to think that long-term extending will procreate you weak.

QUESTION 4: Aside from very concerned about expanding ligaments& tendons that we’ve already covered here, is it inherently damaging or detriment for their own bodies to spend time in passive point scope pulls? What about for someone with a connective material ill such as generalized joint hypermobility( GJH) or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome( EDS )?

ANSWER: I picture with EDS it utters sense to restriction those changes and get strong instead. That’s one of those conditions where shit actually does pop out of residence. But for other beings, who cares if you hang out at end stray. You are just applying tensile load to tissue( pretty much what forte develop does but at other ROMs) and the material will accommodate by getting stronger.

We aren’t made of taffy. We don’t truly “stretch” that acces with applied lading like outcome ROM stretching. I don’t think it’s mischievous but you could certainly argue that there are better options to achieve health and mobility- like supplementing strength set or even resistance in all regions of the range of motion.

QUESTION 5: There is a proliferating dialog in the yoga world about the difference between active& passive extend, with a brand-new emphasis being placed on the benefits of training active forte& authority through our series of gesture( “active stretching”) and a de-emphasis being placed on passive extend. The argue exits that if we have more passive ROM available at a seam than active ROM, we are more susceptible to injury because we lack “control” in those expiration straddles. Would you agree with this text of recollect?

ANSWER: I think you should do both. I wouldn’t be worried about trauma though. I don’t guess most people are getting disabled because they have lost “control” of the seam. Greatly, if you get injured because the seam abruptly goes to end ROM, it’s not strong at discontinue ROM that would have helped you – it’s the fortitude and control that you needed before you went to end ROM.

QUESTION 6: Numerous long-term yoga practitioners have discovered through likeness that they have a trendy labral cry, and yoga is often blamed as the sources of this rend. Contributed that yoga is a low-load undertaking and that a majority of beings in general will develop an asymptomatic labral weeping as they senility[ Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref ], is a long-term yoga practice a likely compel of a hip labral snap?

ANSWER: Labral rends are common. Heck, they might even be beneficial for operation. It’s not unreasonable to think that ANY activity can predispose you to joint changes. They happen and I doubt there is much work we can do about it. You will see labral sobbings and bony changes in most boasts.

So should we stop physical work because of opportunities of a labral weeping? No. There are acces too many benefits from a movement rehearse that far outweigh the negatives of a possible increase in opportunities of having a labral tear.

QUESTION 7: In terms of pulling physiology, I believe that many people conflate the “muscle spindle elongate reflex”( reflexive muscular contraction during a elongate) with “stretch tolerance”( condoning the annoyance of straining) in their judgments. Could you describe the difference between these two phenomena? Do they both toy important roles in stopping us at the end reach of a elongate?

ANSWER: I’m not sure to be honest. Unfold accept certainly plays a role as the strain is stopped( in the experimental studies) when conference participants says its too much. What happens with long term straining is that you are able to go farther without there being a startling altered in material qualities. Making we assume that the changes in ROM are due to your tolerance or perhaps habituation rather than a structural change.

The muscle spindle stretch reflex is assumed to not be arising during cease ROM stretching because in these studies they monitor muscle pleasure. Signify, they try to make sure there is no perceptible muscle activity that occurs at aspiration ROM. We premise its time a passive resistance to elongate. However, it is plausible that there is minor quantity of undertaking that isn’t being picked up and perhaps it is “putting on the brakes”.

QUESTION 8: Do you believe there are ways in which passive stretching are to be able to be beneficial for their own bodies on a musculoskeletal degree? If so, how?

ANSWER: Yes. I speculate long term elongating is just passive tensile power and hostility has the ability to create positive structural changes in material. Some( Kubo) have argued that passive unfold can shape tendon most efficient. Others be stated that passive unfolding affects muscle stiffness which might be good to counterbalance the stiffness changes in a tendon that can occur with injury.

I surely don’t end unfolding as a negative which I formerly did. I think if you argue against stretching you are really not “against” stretching but more pro some other involvement. So, if you like to pull and its helpful for you I would encourage you to keep it up.


Related: How Stretching Affects the Tissues of the Body mini-workshop

Read more: