Although most of us have grown up being told that stretching before a workout is essential, Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times points to two studies that claim the complete opposite: reportedly, "this so-called static stretching can lessen jumpers heights and sprinters speeds, without substantially reducing peoples chances of hurting themselves."
One, a study being published this month in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, concluded that if you stretch before you lift weights, you may find yourself feeling weaker and wobblier than you expect during your workout. Those findings join those of another new study from Croatia, a bogglingly comprehensive re-analysis of data from earlier experiments that was published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Together, the studies augment a growing scientific consensus that pre-exercise stretching is generally unnecessary and likely counterproductive.
Many issues related to exercise and stretching have remained unresolved. In particular, it is unclear to what extent, precisely, subsequent workouts are changed when you stretch beforehand, as well as whether all types of physical activity are similarly affected.
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