What usually makes for the most interesting science reading? Usually, it’s when you come by something that turns conventional wisdom on its head. For instance, imagine yourself sitting in the stands at a high school track-and-field event. Most of the athletes you see are going around doing a couple of stretching exercise routines for flexibility. You look on approvingly, knowing very well that stretching and flexibility are key to performance on the track. And then, there is that loner out there, stiff as a board, who doesn’t seem to buy into the whole flexibility belief system. What on earth is wrong with him?
Researchers at the Nebraska Wesleyan University, have actually found that athletes who don’t do too many stretching exercises before, actually stand a far better chance of performing well than those who wring their muscles as much as they can in the name of flexibility. What goes on here?