But is this really doing your muscles and energy systems any good for your pending athletic performance?
Once an essential part of the sporting warm up, many coaches are now suggesting that static stretches should be avoided just prior to warming up, competition or exercise. New research also doubts the effectiveness of static stretching in enhancing your performance or work out, with some strongly recommending against it.
While there is value to static stretching, the real question is ‘when do you perform it?’ The best times are just after a low intensity activity designed to increase muscle temperature, or after your workout, or at a completely different time not associated with a high session of physical activity, in order to get its full benefits.
To learn more about static stretching prior to exercise, please review the following resources.
Small, Katie, McNaughton, Lars, and Matthews, Martyn, (2008) A Systematic Review into the Efficacy of Static Stretching as Part of a Warm-Up for the Prevention of Exercise-Related Injury. Research in Sports Medicine, 16(3), p213.
To stretch or not to stretch before competitive tennis?