Cracking the code: when to stretch


Source: Elephant Journal, Jade Beall

Most experts agree that muscle flexibility is important, but they've long disagreed about the optimal time to stretch.  If you've followed recent debates on this topic, you know the answer to the question about when to stretch is a moving target.  What should you do?

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research indicates stretching is beneficial post workout, but it can interrupt strength gains if performed before or during a strength workout.  Participants in the study stretched either before strength training, in between sets, or not at all.  All groups of exercisers saw strength gains, but the group that did not stretch experienced the biggest strength gains.  

For the biggest return on those sweat sessions, make stretching a post-workout treat.    

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