First off, these notes aren't all encompassing. If you find the points that I've taken away worthwhile, I highly recommend buying the full lecture from MovementLectures. It's awesome to have this as a resource and something I think we should support. (no affiliation) How can you go wrong to pay 5 bucks and here Charlie Weingroff lecture for an hour?
Does stretching reduce injuries? Most of the research points to no. Does it improve athletic development? How do we define this? Some of the things to consider is that the population possibly was never screened, what kind of stretching was done is not considered.
We are being told that stretching doesn't reduce injuries. There are some factors that have shown to be predictors of injury.
1. Previous Injury
2. Right/Left Asymmetries
3. Higher BMI (body mass index)
4. Poor training choices
So does stretching fit into being a tool for some of these? Does it change movement?
For people that move poorly that have fibrotic tissue, probably no. But, for people that move well, stretching may improve movement.
Power output does go down with stretching. But stretching, warm up, dynamic movement, power output goes back up.
Stretching after a strenuous workout can improve recovery by increasing cell permeability for greater uptake of the anabolic hormones and other substrates produced by the hard workout. Passive stretching makes this happen faster.
People under the assumption that stretching makes the muscle longer, this is not the case. One is not making the sarcomeres longer. You would need to hold a stretch 30 minutes to increase sarcomeres in series.
Mobility training vs Stretching. Do you even need to be stretching? Motor control is the software, joint mobility is the hardware. Is mobility the right answer? A few ways to quickly find out.
1. Loaded vs Unloaded. Standing vs laying down or kneeling. If all of a sudden that ROM changes and the ROM can be demonstrated. Don't mobilize.
2. Resisted vs Bodyweight. Example, challenge the squat pattern. Give them a load that acts as a counter balance. If the squat improves, don't mobilize.
3. Active vs Passive. Example was shoulder hiking. If actively they struggle, but passively you raise the arm better, don't mobilize.
4. Assisted vs Unassisted. Example the squat pattern. Give them something to resist. Reactive neuromuscular training. If giving them resistance improves, don't mobilize.
These help to eliminate wasted time doing mobilizations. Don't go after hardware, go after the software.
In a constant fight or flight state, sympathetic dominate, certain muscles are harder to activate. Other muscles become upregulated. Constant tension and over used. These muscles can't evacuate the waste from the cells faster then it is being produced. This is how we get fibrose tissue.
This process starts out neurological and quick intervention may change it. If it is constant it becomes physiological and more aggressive manual therapy is needed. May also see changes in magnesium/potassium/sodium. So stretching may not produce changes if nutritional support isn't there.
In a tissue with fibrotic challenges, there will be a reduction of oxygen. Maybe the right prescription is aerobic training. This increases the cells use of oxygen.
Put the person in a supported position and in ideal joint centration up to the barrier limit of their ROM and just breath or add in a multi planar movement. Getting the brain to recognize there isn't a threat and it then allows greater ROM.
Perhaps all that is needed is proper training in a joint centrated position.
I thought this was a great lecture. These notes just hit on a few high points. If you are looking for a system to address the need to increase mobility, I highly recommend Functional Range Conditioning. It's a game changer.