Studies show that most injuries occur during eccentric contraction within normal range of motion. With stretching you increase your range of motion, further more you increase your pain tolerance. Both indicate that you are more likely to get injured after a good stretching.
You are not mistaken to believe though that there is a practice prior to exercising that shows reduced chance of injuries, and that is the warming up sequence. If you do the right warmup before exercises you increase your core body temperature, the circulation and blood flow to your muscles, and you also clear your head to be able to focus on the tasks you are about to perform, this way better. Warming up is vitally important from 35+, when your body starts to get less flexible and less lubricated with the slow withdrawal of your juicy hormones (oestrogen and progesterone for women).
If you are like me, you want to cover stretching in your workout routine, because you don’t want to get stiffer by the day. Flexibility is one to the keys to youth. In my Endo-Gym exercise routines I want to stretch, maintain/build muscle mass, improve my core strength and Pelvic Hub control, further I want to nourish my adrenal glands, so they provide me with happiness hormones throughout the day.
The type of stretching that is warming up at the same time, is dynamic stretching. Prior to my regular exercise practice, where I perform contractions that I’m used to, so nothing specifically intense, I find dynamic stretching very efficient. Warming up and gentle stretching in the same 5-10 minutes. No wasting time.
The difference between dynamic and static stretching is that wen performing dynamic stretching you pause a slow flow of movement for only couple of seconds in a stretch, while when doing static stretching you rest in the stretch for about 60 seconds. Dynamic stretching has been shown to positively influence power, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility, and strength performance when used as a warm-up. This type of stretching can be also performed as active recovery routine in between strength practices. Active recovery shows reduced chance of injuries as well.
Active recovery is a low-intensity exercise routine, when you keep moving slowly. Benefits of active recovery (at the end of exercising it’s also called as cool-down) include reduction of lactic acid buildup in your muscles, which will help minimise post-exercise stiffness and pain, and the promotion of blood flow to heavily taxed muscles, which will help counteract inflammation and improve healing.
In short, you want both stretching and strengthening, but you don’t want to get injured. The best practice therefore is to practice dynamic stretching before exercising as a warm-up, and dynamic stretching in between strength routines as active recovery.
As you are ageing, apart from regular stretching you also need to establish a new relationship with your Pelvic Hub in order to maintain a good level of control there.
For mastering your Pelvic Hub control I’m giving you access to the first step through the Ultimate Guide to Controlling your Pelvic Hub. It’s FREE and it will bring you to a totally new level in understanding how your pelvic organs can move under your control.
*Stretching before exercise: an evidence based approach; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1756248/
*Effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness and risk of injury: systematic review; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC119442/
*Should You Stretch Before or After Exercise, or Both?; https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2019/10/18/should-you-stretch-before-or-after-exercise.aspx