Should I stretch before working out?
Should I stretch before I work out?
That depends what kind of stretching you do…….
I’m going to summarize a research article on this for you and put a link to the abstract at the bottom.
In short – yes you should, but dynamic stretching – not static.
So what’s the difference?
Dynamic stretching is movement based warm up about 5- 10 minutes long prior to your workout.
The warm up should mimic some of the movements of the goal activity. This can include lunges, squats, push ups, sprints, wind mills, power rows, etc…
The key is not to warm up to fatigue – don’t wear yourself out.
The goal of a dynamic stretching warm up is to – increase tendon suppleness, blood flow, body temperature, and free coordinated movement.
Static stretching is what one thinks of conventional stretching (sitting and stretching hamstrings, gluts, etc… hold and relax).
So why dynamic and not static?
Static stretching has been shown to reduce neural activation which decreases muscle recruitment and ultimately performance.
Dynamic stretching has been shown to provide a modest performance enhancement which will improve power, agility, flexibility, and prevent injury.
If you want to do static stretching pre-workout – do a dynamic warmup after, and prior to your workout or sports activity.
J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Aug;20(3):492-9.