Static Stretching Before Workouts

It has been a number of years since the war between dynamic and static stretching ended, and although dynamic stretching emerged the victor for pre-activity stretching, static stretching still has a lot of benefits. Static stretching, if not optimal, still provides advantages for developing flexibility and mobility. But how does static stretching before a lift affect the quality of the workout?

Once again I referenced Greg Nuckols’ article on MASS. He reviewed many research articles, but one in particular that assessed how static stretching impacted muscle growth directly before a lift. The study concluded that performing static stretching and IMMEDIATELY going into a lift decreased the amount of muscle growth from the exercise. However, a related study found that waiting at least 10 minutes between static stretching and lifting did not decrease any gains from the workout, but did not produce any advantages outside of simply better flexibility from the stretches.

The takeaway is that although it is great to do dynamic stretches before activity and lifting, static stretches can still improve flexibility. However, if you are going to do them, stretch 10-15 minutes before you actually start your working sets. For example you could do your stretches, start to warm up and build up to your working sets, and by the time you actually start the meat of your lift, 10 minutes will have passed and you will be good to go.

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