Not stretching appropriately
Most people stretch before hitting the weights, trail or court thinking that it will reduce their chance of injury and boost performance. There is actually no evidence that long pre-exercise stretching can reduce the likelihood of injury. In fact, excessive pre-exercise stretching may cause a reduction in muscle force and power. “For optimal muscle power there is an optimal number of cross bridges that must be established between the actin and myosin muscle fibres,” says Gerard Recio, a physical trainer at Twist Conditioning in Vancouver. “When you stretch you decrease the interaction.”
Static stretching, where you hold a stretch for a pre-determined amount of time, is best left till after your weight routine. At Twist Conditioning, Recio encourages dynamic stretching before exercise. “Dynamic movement takes the muscle through various ranges of motion, and various speeds of movement:’ says Recio. This type of sport-specific stretching prepares the mind and muscles for the upcoming activity.