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JCrane

In your opinion is stretching and or lengthening muscles the same or different ?

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In your opinion is stretching and or lengthening muscles the same or different ?  

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Some people use them interchangeably, but I don’t view them as the same.

Stretching is essentially to increase or maintain a range of motion.

I don’t see how one would “lengthen” their muscles (or even want to... I imagine that would cause contraction issues).

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On 11/11/2017 at 4:59 AM, JCrane said:

In your opinion is stretching and or lengthening muscles the same or different ?  

It isnt really a matter of opinion? Stretching does lenghten the muscle if you do it often enough. For most people who only do it as a warmup youre not lengthening the muscle but rather loosening up.

 

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1 hour ago, Alx said:

It isnt really a matter of opinion? Stretching does lenghten the muscle if you do it often enough. For most people who only do it as a warmup youre not lengthening the muscle but rather loosening up.

 

Alx I agree 100%

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6 hours ago, Alx said:

It isnt really a matter of opinion? Stretching does lenghten the muscle if you do it often enough. For most people who only do it as a warmup youre not lengthening the muscle but rather loosening up.

 

 

4 hours ago, JCrane said:

Alx I agree 100%

I don’t think it is a matter of opinion (and I don’t mean for that to sound rude).

Length and range of motion are not one in the same.  If you can explain to me, from a kinesiology or physiological sense, how one would actually lengthen a muscle (I.e. increase the length of a muscle fiber), I’m all ears (or eyes really).

 

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On 11/10/2017 at 9:59 PM, JCrane said:

In your opinion is stretching and or lengthening muscles the same or different ?  

Are we discussing terminology?   I don't realize a difference.   I've not heard anyone referencing lengthening muscles.

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5 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

Length and range of motion are not one in the same.  If you can explain to me, from a kinesiology or physiological sense, how one would actually lengthen a muscle (I.e. increase the length of a muscle fiber), I’m all ears (or eyes really).

http://web.mit.edu/tkd/stretch/stretching_2.html

Quote

The stretching of a muscle fiber begins with the sarcomere (see section Muscle Composition), the basic unit of contraction in the muscle fiber. As the sarcomere contracts, the area of overlap between the thick and thin myofilaments increases. As it stretches, this area of overlap decreases, allowing the muscle fiber to elongate. Once the muscle fiber is at its maximum resting length (all the sarcomeres are fully stretched), additional stretching places force on the surrounding connective tissue (see section Connective Tissue). As the tension increases, the collagen fibers in the connective tissue align themselves along the same line of force as the tension. Hence when you stretch, the muscle fiber is pulled out to its full length sarcomere by sarcomere, and then the connective tissue takes up the remaining slack. When this occurs, it helps to realign any disorganized fibers in the direction of the tension. This realignment is what helps to rehabilitate scarred tissue back to health.

When a muscle is stretched, some of its fibers lengthen, but other fibers may remain at rest. The current length of the entire muscle depends upon the number of stretched fibers (similar to the way that the total strength of a contracting muscle depends on the number of recruited fibers contracting). According to SynerStretch you should think of "little pockets of fibers distributed throughout the muscle body stretching, and other fibers simply going along for the ride". The more fibers that are stretched, the greater the length developed by the stretched muscle.

Yes, over time you can lengthen the muscles. It probably doesn't take much in terms of muscle elongation to see a greater increase in range of motion. It probably depends on the muscle you are stretching and the range of motion you are looking at. 

It's probably easier to gain range of motion in the classic hamstring stretch versus range of motion in the classic quad stretch. Mostly because you can stretch your hamstring, calf, glute and lower back muscles since they are all connected. When you try to stretch the quad you have to deal with a very big and strong muscle, and also the range of motion of your knee can inhibit the movement. 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

http://web.mit.edu/tkd/stretch/stretching_2.html

Yes, over time you can lengthen the muscles. It probably doesn't take much in terms of muscle elongation to see a greater increase in range of motion. It probably depends on the muscle you are stretching and the range of motion you are looking at. 

It's probably easier to gain range of motion in the classic hamstring stretch versus range of motion in the classic quad stretch. Mostly because you can stretch your hamstring, calf, glute and lower back muscles since they are all connected. When you try to stretch the quad you have to deal with a very big and strong muscle, and also the range of motion of your knee can inhibit the movement. 

 

 

But is the muscle actually longer... or is it just reaching it’s full range of motion?

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6 hours ago, dennyjones said:

Are we discussing terminology?   I don't realize a difference.   I've not heard anyone referencing lengthening muscles.

just looking for opinions. Whatever it means to you

7 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

 

I don’t think it is a matter of opinion (and I don’t mean for that to sound rude).

Length and range of motion are not one in the same.  If you can explain to me, from a kinesiology or physiological sense, how one would actually lengthen a muscle (I.e. increase the length of a muscle fiber), I’m all ears (or eyes really).

 

I agree from a technical point of view that is correct, but I am looking more for perceptions

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1 hour ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

But is the muscle actually longer... or is it just reaching it’s full range of motion?

Personally, if i got better range of motion, I would not care if the muscle was actually longer . Good point though 

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As a disclaimer I wont bother with techinal terms for this. 

 

Exessive stretching puts the muscle in an elongated or "full rom" state. Basically its as long as the muscle can get without tearing. More rom sounds pretty good eh? What could go wrong?

The problem is that when the muscle is stretched to this point it doesnt have the same ability to stretch anymore. So that tightness people are so keen to get rid of is actually the muscles inherent stretch reflex that protects the muscle, tendons and ligaments from tearing. The muscle is designed to stretch first to protect everything else. If you live a sedentery lifestyle and that stretch reflex isnt used it can tighten up too much but even then youre best off doing dynamic stretching because thats how the muscle is supposed to work in the first place.

This principle is why it isnt recommended to do static stretching before a workout. So really you shouldnt attempt to increase the static rom as much as the dynamic rom.

 

Edited by Alx

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9 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

But is the muscle actually longer... or is it just reaching it’s full range of motion?

Again, from MIT,

Quote

When a muscle is stretched, some of its fibers lengthen, but other fibers may remain at rest.

 

5 hours ago, Alx said:

This principle is why it isnt recommended to do static stretching before a workout. So really you shouldnt attempt to increase the static rom as much as the dynamic rom.

I believe this is still unknown as to why a muscle will perform worse for certain activities when stretched first.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/

Quote

Unfortunately, however, static stretching as part of a warm-up immediately prior to exercise has been shown detrimental to dynamometer-measured muscle strength and performance in running and jumping. The loss of strength resulting from acute static stretching has been termed, “stretch-induced strength loss.” The specific causes for this type of stretch induced loss in strength is not clear; some suggest neural factors,, while others suggest mechanical factors., Furthermore, the strength loss may be related to the length of the muscle at the time of testing or the duration of the stretch. Interestingly, a maximal contraction of the muscle being stretched before static stretching may decrease stretch-induced strength loss

This is why I never do static stretching to start out working out. If it's weight lifting, I rather spend my time doing a set at lower weight with more reps to get the muscles warmed up and get them use to the motion I want. If it is warming up for golf, I'll start off with wedge shots and work my way up to full swings.

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32 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I believe this is still unknown as to why a muscle will perform worse for certain activities when stretched first.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/

Erhm. Thats from 2012. Theres more recent work on this. Ill see if I can find it in my bookmarks.

 

 

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2 hours ago, saevel25 said:

Again, from MIT,

 

I believe this is still unknown as to why a muscle will perform worse for certain activities when stretched first.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/

This is why I never do static stretching to start out working out. If it's weight lifting, I rather spend my time doing a set at lower weight with more reps to get the muscles warmed up and get them use to the motion I want. If it is warming up for golf, I'll start off with wedge shots and work my way up to full swings.

OK, so I can understand the perspective that it is temporarily considered longer when stretched (being elastic) when force is applied to it.  What happens when you remove the applied force?  How is it longer, from that perspective?

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21 hours ago, Alx said:

As a disclaimer I wont bother with techinal terms for this. 

 

Exessive stretching puts the muscle in an elongated or "full rom" state. Basically its as long as the muscle can get without tearing. More rom sounds pretty good eh? What could go wrong?

The problem is that when the muscle is stretched to this point it doesnt have the same ability to stretch anymore. So that tightness people are so keen to get rid of is actually the muscles inherent stretch reflex that protects the muscle, tendons and ligaments from tearing. The muscle is designed to stretch first to protect everything else. If you live a sedentery lifestyle and that stretch reflex isnt used it can tighten up too much but even then youre best off doing dynamic stretching because thats how the muscle is supposed to work in the first place.

This principle is why it isnt recommended to do static stretching before a workout. So really you shouldnt attempt to increase the static rom as much as the dynamic rom.

 

yes, but if you stretch on a regular basis you can move beyond the stretch reflex to gain mobility, then static stretching before an event should not make a difference because you are bringing the muscle to a place it has been many times. 

I was at a beach Volleyball tournament and I watched Kerri Walsh warm up and she was definitely doing static stretching along with dynamic stretching before she played 

I do know people who have over stretched the muscle and ended up in surgery, so I agree there is a limit and you have to listen to your body because everyone is a bit different.

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21 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

OK, so I can understand the perspective that it is temporarily considered longer when stretched (being elastic) when force is applied to it.  What happens when you remove the applied force?  How is it longer, from that perspective?

Basically your body remembers the stretched position.

Quote

One of the reasons for holding a stretch for a prolonged period of time is that as you hold the muscle in a stretched position, the muscle spindle habituates (becomes accustomed to the new length) and reduces its signaling. Gradually, you can train your stretch receptors to allow greater lengthening of the muscles.

on over flexibility

Quote

It is possible for the muscles of a joint to become too flexible. According to SynerStretch, there is a tradeoff between flexibility and stability. As you get "looser" or more limber in a particular joint, less support is given to the joint by its surrounding muscles. Excessive flexibility can be just as bad as not enough because both increase your risk of injury.

Once a muscle has reached its absolute maximum length, attempting to stretch the muscle further only serves to stretch the ligaments and put undue stress upon the tendons (two things that you do not want to stretch). Ligaments will tear when stretched more than 6% of their normal length. Tendons are not even supposed to be able to lengthen. Even when stretched ligaments and tendons do not tear, loose joints and/or a decrease in the joint's stability can occur (thus vastly increasing your risk of injury).

Once you have achieved the desired level of flexibility for a muscle or set of muscles and have maintained that level for a solid week, you should discontinue any isometric or PNF stretching of that muscle until some of its flexibility is lost (see section Isometric Stretching, and see section PNF Stretching).

 

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3 hours ago, saevel25 said:

Basically your body remembers the stretched position.

on over flexibility

 

That is well said. I can tell you from personal experience I have seen both. I have done Yoga stretches for 20 years and muscle memory keeps my muscles where I want them, but it took a long time to get them where I wanted them. I was very tight from too much strength training.

There is also an organization which has a  whole group of Yoga teachers  who have overstretched and ended up in surgery. I have also seen people who are hyper-flexible and probably need more strength training. Finding that place of optimum for ones own body seems to be the best way to me, but I also believe stretching should be linked to physical performance. It seems to be a good gauge.

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8 hours ago, saevel25 said:

Basically your body remembers the stretched position.

on over flexibility

 

But it’s not actually longer, it just has an increased range of motion 

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