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Does your period affect your training?

With so much time on my hands currently stuck at home, like many others, I’ve quite significantly upped my stretch game. I mentioned to my sister that I was feeling stiffer than usual and she suggested it could be associated with my time of the month so I started looking in to how menstruating and ovulating could impact exercise training and stretching and I was pretty surprised to find out just how much it does…

The first thing I found when I started searching was a scientific article summarising that your stretch reflex is dramatically reduced during ovulation.

“Our results demonstrate that the RF MSR (muscle stretch reflex) response varies throughout the menstrual cycle with the lowest response around the time of ovulation.”

The Muscle Stretch Reflex throughout the Menstrual Cycle
Ellen Casey,  Farah Hameed, and Yasin Y. Dhaher

When a muscle is rapidly stretched receptors, called muscle spindles, send signals to the central nervous system and muscle fibres contract thus resisting the stretch. Our bodies are clever things and this reflex basically happens to protect your muscles from over stretching. Therefore if your stretch reflex is reduced you will be more prone to injury.

So if you are able to track your menstrual cycle it would be smart to take it extra easy when ovulating to avoid risks of injury! Keep safe ladies!

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