Should you walk or take a hot shower before stretching?

Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.

Should you walk or take a hot shower before stretching?

Postby Scott M » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:27 am

I have often heard that you need to take a hot shower and/or take a 10-15 walk before beginning a stretching routine. The "Rebuild Your Back" book does not mention this. What do you think?
Scott M

Scott M - stretching

Postby Bill P » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:31 pm


There are five (5) different categories that stretches can fall into. They are 1) Corrective stretches, 2) Maintenance stretches, 3) Pre workout / activity stretches, 4) Post workout/activity stretches and 5) Muscle Energy Mobilization stretches. Basically, you are re-programming the length /tenion relationship of the muscle(s) being stretched. None of these 5 types of stretches requires a hot shower and/or walk beforehand.

The old adage that said "you should never stretch a cold muscle because you risk tearing it" has many flaws. Here is one: if someone with tight hip flexors were to walk for 5-10 minutes before stretching in order to warm up, it is extremely likely that their already-tight hip flexor muscles will tighten more as a result of the walk. So, the blanket advice regarding preparation for stretching would not be of help to this person.

There are many other reasons you do not have to follow this old adage, but when you do stretch, remember that it's important to always breath normally, move into and out of the stretch gently, and go only to the point of mild tension. Never bounce or go into an area that produces pain.

Bill P
Bill P

Postby Seann » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:12 pm

Scott- I do my stretching when I have time, if it happens to be after a shower than so be it. I've never noticed any difference.
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Re: Should you walk or take a hot shower before stretching?

Postby ¹««FÛLL-->ßÔÔ§T»» » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:52 pm

a hot shower, or a 20 minute walk helps.
I feel since your body is hot it streches more, and feels more relaxed.


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