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Exercise Column

Stretching during warm-up versus flexibility training

Other than when stretching as part of an entire class such as in the case with yoga or Pilates, flexibility training is best performed at the end, rather than beginning of, a workout.

Recent studies have found that the time honored belief of stretching prior to running, lifting, ... exercising is actually not beneficial for injury prevention, performance, or adaptation.

Some light, short range of motion (ROM) movements can be done along with light activity to increase whole body and muscle temperature during a warm up. The activity and ROM movement prepares the body and increases performance.

More sustained stretching - where the muscles and joints are taken to their extent of function and held for a period of time - is best performed once the muscles are warm and at the end of the training segment of the workout.

Not only will post-training stretching enhance recovery and help prevent future injury but it will also improve your flexibility.

Written by Dr.Sternlicht for on 2.27.06