Benefits of Stretching in the New Year
Current research suggests that stretching can decrease pain and soreness after exercise. However, no evidence supports the theory that stretching before exercise prevents overuse or acute injuries. Warming up alone has no effect on range of motion, but when warm-up is followed by stretching there is an increase in range of motion. Many people have misinterpreted this finding to mean that stretching before exercise prevents injuries, even though the clinical research suggests otherwise. A better interpretation is that warm-up prevents injury. If injury prevention is your primary objective the evidence suggests you should limit stretching before exercise and increase warm-up.