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Do we necessarily have to turn into an elastic man or woman after a significant effort? The answers with Gilles Mondoloni, sports doctor.

Bent forward, your foot on a beam, you try to get your toes with your fingertips, moaning as you do after each running session, when suddenly a question crosses your mind: is it much needed, all that? For Gilles Mondoloni, the answer is clear: no. And here’s why.

On the same subject

Well-being: How to relieve aches after sport?

Stretching can do more harm than good

Know this: the least effort supposes a muscle contraction which causes a tension of the fibers which can itself generate micro tears. This is for example the case during a running session: “When you run, your quadriceps contract to keep you from crashing to the ground, explains the expert. Result: they do a perpetual braking job and pull on the muscle fibers, which creates microlesions. And when you stretch after exercise, you run the risk of aggravating these lesions!”

The other problem? You are not quite in your normal state after a sports session: “As we are hot, under endorphins and serotonin, the hormones of pleasure, we tend to force the muscles to gain amplitude by stretching. Especially since you don’t feel the pain. And that’s why, here too, we can hurt ourselves. »

But won’t a post-exercise stretching session prevent aches? “Not necessarily. I think it is more useful, to fight against aches, to make progressive efforts, to drink water or even to do a massage-drainage.”

The rule: never force

And before the effort, will you tell us? Do we absolutely have to contort ourselves as we have often been forced to do during PE? “Yes, but the idea is rather to warm up and to find a certain flexibility within the framework of a practice. If you run, you can for example do buttock heels or high knees. If you’re swimming, you can do swimming-like shoulder movements.”

The goal ? “Avoid jerky movements whatever happens to force the search for amplitude. If you stretch, let yourself go down slowly, and do not exceed the limits of flexibility of the moment.” That is what is said!

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