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Misconceptions of Stretching

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By Erin Irish

Some people feel stretching is unimportant. They may think stretching is dangerous or unrealistic in that it doesn’t really help the body. These are misconceptions that can be dangerous because they leads people to believe they are better off not stretching in preparation for playing sports or exercising. Stretching is far from dangerous, unrealistic or unimportant, and it would be counterproductive for a person to not stretch.

While stretching can be dangerous if done incorrectly, it is not bad for the body. In fact, it is extremely beneficial for the body. However, some stretching exercises can increase the risk of injury. Excessive static stretching directly before dynamic activities can cause muscle strain because of the over-relaxation and lengthening of the muscles. Long static stretching loosens the muscles. Certain activities that need the muscles to contract quickly may not be prepared for such action and may be at risk. This is an example of how stretching in the wrong way could be dangerous for the body. However, this does not mean stretching in and of itself is dangerous, but stretching in the wrong manner for a specific activity can lead to injury. Also, certain stretches could exacerbate an injury, which is why people with injuries should work with a doctor or physical therapist to ensure the stretches they do are not endangering the injury.

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