Should I stretch or foam roll after the workout or only when I feel soreness in my muscles. Plz help
Just to expand a bit on another point of view.
I'd agree that doing a whole body static stretching routine before/after a workout is probably not the best way to use your time, however stretching & foam rolling definitely have their uses.
Obviously most professional athletes you'd expect do some amount of stretching and muscle therapy.
Just a couple quick examples:
- Combine prep: A typical training day for an NFL prospect
- Mentions massage and flexibility sessions as part of a training day.
- World's strongest man Brian Shaw gives tips...
- Has a personal stretcher & suggests foam rolling.
Now we're probably not trying to get into the NFL or be the worlds strongest man so take that w/ a grain of salt.
Stretching may not instantly improve performance but increased flexibility and range of motion is beneficial.
If you're horribly tight, have bad posture, or poor range of motion that will definitely hinder your ideal performance. So if you need to improve it stretching, rolling, and strengthening are pretty much your only options.
Some quick reads to give pros and cons to stretching and foam rolling.
- Fascia training
- "Use of foam rollers or a roller massager before or after exercise for self-myofascial release appears to be helpful with regard to range of motion and soreness."
- Stretching: Focus on flexibility
- Speaks about how stretching in regards to your following workout has no benefit but increased flexibility overall has quite a few.
So stretch/roll after or only when you feel sore?
Neither or either, it really depends on what you need. I'd say most important is evaluate what you need in regards to your specific workout and overall goals.
If your workout would benefit from a increased range of motion.
For example you're doing Olympic or power style lifting, things like snatches, squats, dead lifts, and cleans will definitely benefit from shoulder, ankle, wrist, hip, etc. mobility. So regular rolling targeting areas and increasing your range of motion will defiantly help.
If you have any areas that are overly tight or imbalanced.
This may unrelated to your workout but rather something you may determine you'd benefit from. For example if your hunched over a desk all day your hips, back and shoulders likely could benefit from daily stretching and rolling. Or if a lack of mobility is preventing you from properly doing some exercises then definitely using any tool possible should be part of your daily training rather then an afterthought.
Personally I used to always have one side of my back flair up when doing dead lifts or high volume on squats. This seemed to mainly be caused by my poor ankle mobility on one side and very tight hips. I've been doing daily hip opening stretches, rolling for the past 6 months and have not had any issues for the past few.
It's a big topic.
I'm no expert and mainly coming from a power lifting focus so keep that in mind. While I never see people doing a classic middle school stretching routine before or after a workout (usually bar or no weight warm ups and a dynamic movement routine), all the strongest most athletic guys I know do some sort mobility and maintenance routine outside of their workouts.
So yeah if you're sore, tight or need some more flexibility go ahead roll it out, do some stretches before/after/both or don't see what works for you and what you can benefit from.
Foam-rolling and stretching are unnecessary, but you certainly may do them if you like/want to do so.
Stretching is good for ... more stretching. Do it if you like, but not because you hear/believe that you "should stretch" without further rationale. One rationale for stretching: It may help you tolerate a specific greater range of motion (ROM), for example, if your shoulders don't (currently) allow you to carry a barbell in the low-bar position for squatting. Another source claims that "Post-exercise [static] stretching appears to have a little effect on reducing muscle soreness 1-7 days after exercise". I haven't found substantial information about post-workout dynamic stretching.
Foam-rolling might help you with your soreness. As with stretching: Do it if you like. It's a "shrugger": a treatment idea that has some plausibility but has had little or no good, powerful testing. There is a small, flawed trial of foam-rolling that claims a slight benefit. Another study,"The Effect of Foam Rolling Duration on Hamstring Range of Motion" found "no significant differences between baseline knee extension ROM and the ROM present after foam rolling"; this study isn't especially powerful (in terms of size), and has significant methodological weaknesses (for example, variability of pressure and area of foam-rolling).