Stretching for sore muscles


A distinction is made between active and passive stretching.

Stretching or stretching exercises are used in many sports. In popular sports, stretching is usually part of a sport-specific warm-up program. When stretching exercises are most useful, and whether stretching exercises before or after a workout or a load, should be clarified in the next lines.

Active and passive stretching

In general one differentiates the active one and passive stretching. There are two subgroups of active stretching, active static stretching and active-dynamic stretching.

At the active-static stretching will the Target muscle (Muscle to be stretched) by tension in the Antagonists (Opponent) brought into the stretched position and remains in this position a few seconds. For example, do you want the Triceps stretch, the biceps tense.

Active-dynamic stretching happens from one slight pre-stretching out. The antagonist is contracted rhythmically and by rebounding in very small movements will the Target muscle stretched. Would you like the insides of the Thigh muscles stretch, a more than shoulder-width stand is advisable, with the body's center of gravity shifting from one to the other foot is relocated. The legs are stretched and the leg that is not being stretched is bent and the leg to be stretched is stretched. Both variants of active stretching are used for Preparation for training and competition and are therefore carried out before an exercise. The goal here is the Musculature to prepare for an upcoming stress.

Passive stretching is divided into passive-dynamic and passive-static stretching. In passive-dynamic stretching, the procedure is identical to active-dynamic stretching except for one point. In passive dynamic stretching, a partner helps stretch the target muscles, not the antagonistic muscles. Passive-dynamic stretching is used in preparation for training and competition. Passive-static stretching is divided into held stretching, also known as stretching, tension-relaxation stretching (AED / CHRS) and static stretching with antagonist contraction. CHRS stands for Contract, Hold, Relax and Stretch.

The held stretching

At the held stretching a position is assumed in which a slight "pull" can be felt in the target muscles. This position is approx. 20-30 seconds held. Use of held stretch is that Follow-up work for a training session or a competition. At the Tension-relaxation stretching (AED) the tension takes place with a medium intensity, and the subsequent stretching is a bit like passive dynamic stretching shorter. The four elements C., H, R. and S. (Contract, Hold, Relax and Stretch) result in a stretch cycle that should be repeated three to five times. The following tension should take place from the previous stretching position. AED is used for physiotherapy.

The static stretching with antagonist contraction is also used in the physiotherapy used. From the stretching position, the stretching is additionally reinforced by tensioning the antagonist and held for about eight to 15 seconds.

Different effects

Both forms of stretching (active and passive) are different Effects and are therefore interesting for different requirements.

Active forms of stretching have a Warm-up effect and increase the following power outputs and Strength gains. also strengthen they the Antagonists, improve the feeling of movement and the neuromuscular control. Your tone lowering and -increasing effect on the Musculature is also an important factor.
Passive forms of expansion contribute to Energy savings because less muscular work is done. you have one relaxing effect and lower muscle tone. they seem pain reliever, improve body awareness and relax the muscles.

Stretching before or after exercise

In general, when stretching, care should be taken to never stretching a cold muscle, always one safe position or to have a secure footing and always to get into the correct stretching position and not to evade. The stretching should also be gentle and there should be no pain.

stretch can before or after an exercise can be used. In popular sport it is often assumed that the Stretching after exercise or competition one Prevent muscle soreness can. From a scientific point of view, however, there are no supported findings that really prove this. Experts aren't sure if stretching before a particular one sport might not even be counterproductive and tend to encourage sore muscles afterwards.

Also read: Sore muscles - what works best?

Especially with sports in which Speed ​​power and Maximum loads are challenged as soccer or weightlifting can one Muscle by stretching rather weakened are considered strengthened. In these sports there is a extensive warm-up program most of time makes more sense than stretching before exercise. Warming up provides adequate protection against injuries and stretching is therefore not absolutely necessary in these sports.

For other sports you can Stretching exercises before training or competition all the more more important be. in the To dance, in the gymnastics, in the do gymnastics or in the acrobatics Stretching is important in order to be well prepared for a competition or training session. The Mobility is increased and one will calmer and more relaxed. This is especially true for elderly a nice result. Even with the Martial arts, some Swimming techniques and the Hurdles stretching should be an integral part of an athlete's preparation.


Whether through stretching a possible aching can be prevented is controversial. There are no studies that have shown a significant positive effect of stretching on sore muscles. In general, few studies on the subject have been published and most of them have not found any detectable effects.

If results show a reduction in sore muscles, this reduction is so small that it cannot be said whether it came about by chance. Sometimes even a worsening of the sore muscles was observed through stretching exercises. On the one hand it can be deduced from this that it no proven beneficial effect of stretching on soreness pain gives.

On the other hand, stretching exercises become supreme perceived and carried out individually. Some people are more comfortable with stretching, and other athletes prefer not to do any stretching. Therefore, no general assessment or recommendation can be made as to whether or not stretching will relieve sore muscles. Every athlete should find out for himself how to cope with the various forms of stretching (active-passive). Many have stretching exercises positive effects before or after competition and training session, sore muscles however, they cannot alleviate it.