stretching before a workout

Stretching Beef Jerky

Thats what its like to stretch before a workout.

You’ve probably had beef jerky before. It’s usually dry and tough. Imagine trying to stretch it. What do you think would happen? Not much.

But your gym teaching from 3rd grade said you need to stretch before a workout so it must be good!

Yes and no.

As I talked about in the “Why we foam roll” blog, its better to focus on sliding surfaces with foam rolling than trying to lengthen the muscles with stretching.

So why was the gym teacher telling us to stretch?

Stretching does have its place. PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) is a good example.

PNF stretching is where we take the tissues to end range, contract for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

I prefer to use this stretching technique after rolling the tissues out.

An example of my mobility warm up routine for a pull up workout:

Foam roll last – 1 min each side
Foam roll Thoracic spine with arms overhead – 1 min
Roll pec and anterior deltoid – 1 min each side
PNF Doorway stretch – 1 min each side
Banded lat stretch – 1 min each side

Try it out and see if you find a benefit in PNF stretching over holding a position for minutes at a time.