To stretch or not stretch...

It’s a hot topic in the fitness arena these days.  Do you do a static stretch before you start exercising, or after? That is the question.

In the early 80’s, which is when I came to fitness, the conventional way of warming up for your exercise session included static stretching before your cardio workout.

Picture someone stretching their calf muscle, one foot forward, front knee bent, arms on a wall, tree or lamp post helping them support their weight as they lean forward into the stretch.

The new millennium also brought new stretching wisdom. Dynamic stretching is now widely used throughout the fitness and sport industries. Knee ups, straight leg kicks, standing bent leg kickbacks are examples of this type of stretching.

Now…these days, static stretching after you’ve finished working out is highly recommended.

I agree, because stretching before leaves the muscle too relaxed to do any meaningful exercise (in this case strength training). Supported by a wealth of research, post exercise stretching is the way to go.