Every person will tell you that stretching is good for you. But are they stretching the truth?
It has been thought that stretching helps you to keep your muscles flexible and joints moving well. But how effective is stretching by itself? The literature suggests that benefits may last up to a week with some improvements in pain and joint mobility. Most of the literature, however, concludes that there are no significant improvements much longer than that. 1 What this means is that if you want the benefit to keep going then you need to keep going with the stretching!
Will it stop me getting injured?
Evidence suggests that stretching before activity does not reduce injury.
However, there is some good news! Evidence does suggest that dynamic stretches can cause improvements in performance, particularly in activities requiring power and strength. 3 However, there is no proof that dynamic stretches are better in the ‘recreational athlete.’ 4 Maybe don't jump into the full blown versions that you see people on TV doing...
So should I stretch? Yes! It provides short term benefits regarding pain and joint mobility, and it also can help you improve your performance!
Here at HPP, we can go one step further and provide motor control and strengthening exercises to try and get you moving your best! So if you need any advice on how to stretch well, come over to our joint!
1. Harvey LA, Katalinic OM, Herbert RD, Moseley AM, Lannin NA, Schurr K. (2017). Is stretch
effective for treating and preventing joint deformities? Cochrane Database of Systematic
2. Witvrouw E, Mahieu N, Danneels L, McNair P. (2004). Stretching and injury prevention: an
obscure relationship. Sports Med. 34(7):443-9.
3. Werstein KM & Lund RJ. (2012). The effects of two stretching protocols on the reactive
strength index in female soccer and rugby players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning
Research. 26(6): 1564-1567.
4. Curry BS, Chengkalath D, Crouch GJ, Romance M & Manns PJ. (2009). Acute effects of
dynamic stretching, static stretching, and light aerobic activity on muscular performance in
women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 23(6): 1811-1819.