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Is it wise to stretch before exercising or not

Updated on March 12, 2011

Extreme stretching, strictly for professionals

Some people are of favor that it is not wise to stretch before doing exercises and some people use to say that stretching should be an integral part

One should never ever stretch before doing weight training, as it will reduce the power of your lift and will cause loss in stability and this could lead to injury.

People who say dynamic stretching is good probably refer to activities-like baseball, etc., where you usually just warm-up by pitching a ball back & forth to the teammates or in sports-like, martial arts where stretching can prime the muscles in order to get them ready for use.

if this is the case, stretching is good but denitely not before weighttraining.

One more question which might come to our minds would be that can we stretch between the sets or can we just sit and rest between stretchs?

I would say no, as the idea of stretching between the sets is that you are cleaning your muscles out of the lactic acid when you do a stretch.

Imagine stretching of our biceps or chest to be similar like "ringing out a towel" that is soaked with some water. Therefore, if you do this, it presents same problem as written above by me, i.e., reduced power and losses of stability. It depends on your program and this is not such a big deal, but there is always a better side.

If you talk about between the sets, do some mild aerobic activity. Define your path through your gym between your machines and then walk up and down at a fast pace. When you do this, it cleans out much more lactic acid and will bring in much more oxygenated blood to the specific muscle you are training.

So it is for sure that do not ever just lie or sit and do nothing. This can be considered as the worst form of relaxation technique.

One more thing to add that some difference between all your exercising activities must be taken into account.

It will be much more stressful for youself to move from a fully relaxing position to a suddenly running position, rather than moving from a very slow jog to running position. Akin to this, it is much more stressful on your body to move from running too fast to fully relaxing. Least but not last, I would say it is much better to move from a fast paced run to a very slow jog and now to a fully relaxing position. Again, This is another reason as it is just not good to sit between sets or running or jogging and to do nothing between the sets.

Dave demonstrates six key stretching exercises

Is it good to strech before running and jogging

Never, unless and until by running you mean, "all out fast as you possibly can sprint, then no.

You need not to just warm up. Jogging is considered as a warm-up activity. How one can warm up before a warm up? It is totally senseless.

Do you think that jerking while doing streches will cause an injury to your body?

Yes, it is true.   Even bouncing while doing stretches or bouning at the end of the stretch will cause an injury. If you are gently moving back and forth, it is okay but never go further than this.

You might be wondering if warm-up and cool-down can be done activity-specific rather then doing the same type of stretches again and again?

Warm-up and cool-down should specifically be done depending on your activity and never with the stretches.  Stretch is not a good way to warm-up.  If we are doing heavy set of bench-presses or any gym machine exercise, we can warm up by starting with very light weights and press only 15 times. Like this, and then we can add some more weight and do around ten or 12 repetitions.  After that,  we will add more weight and do only five or six repetitions. At last, we can add more weight and do our heavy set of three or four repetitions.

Do you agree with my views regarding this topic. Anyway if you say yes or no, I invite you to give me feedbacks

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    • profile image

      Shin Splints Stretches 6 years ago

      As a runner, I have found stretching to be a very important part of preventing shin splints, a common injury among runners. I run a number of shorter races throughout the year and have been amazed at the number of runners I've seen that do not stretch. But then, I'm less amazed at the number of those that complain of shin splints!

    • Chris Fry profile image

      Chris Fry 6 years ago from Cardiff, Wales (UK)

      the key thing to point out is the difference between dynamic and static stretches. Literature suggests static stretching should not be performed prior to exercise as it reduce both lower limb power and strength (Faigenbaum et al., 2010) using the vertical jump as the measure of power, and upper body limb power and strength (Costa et al, 2009) using the bench press as the measure of strength.


      Costa, E. C., Dos Santos, C. M., Prestes, J., Da Silvia, J. B. and Knackfuss, M. I. (2009). Acute effect of static stretching on the strength performance of jiu-jitsu athletes in horizontal bench press. Fitness and Performance Journal , 8 (3): 212-218.

      Faigenbaum, A. D., McFarland, J. E., Kelly, N. A., Ratamess, N. A., Kang, J. and Hoffman, J. R. (2010). Influence of recovery time on warm-up effects in male adolescent athletes. Pediatric Exercise Science, 22 (2): 266-277.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is very good advice you have given here seniorsmith. I will check out your link.

    • profile image

      seniorsmith 7 years ago

      Very true. Stretching slightly fatigues the muscles. The more intense you stretch the more fatigued the muscles become. Thus, stretching in excess can be detrimental to any subsequent athletic performance. To learn more about flexibility, go here:

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you so much mquee. I am really glad that you found the above information useful enough to appreciate me.

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Regarding resistance training, I do advocate mild strtching between sets to maintan flexibility. Over the years this has worked for me. You have presented a lot of good information here and its good reading. Thanks for sharing.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes morewrite, consistency of practicing should be a matter of concern for any sporting or athletic activity but stretching before any work out is always beneficial to help your muscles give a head start. Thanks for the comment.

    • morewrite profile image

      morewrite 8 years ago

      I agree that it does not matter how intensely you work out but how well and how consistent you are. Stretching is most beneficial as you give your muscles a headstart. great research on your topic.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks FirstStepsFitness for your valuable input. I agree that warming up is really necessary before starting any type of workout, even the rule implies before starting sex.

    • FirstStepsFitness profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 8 years ago

      Good Article ....well written :) 5 to 10 minutes of warm up cardio before stretching is recommended ...never stretch cold muscles .

      Stretching lengthens the muscle fibers - increasing the range of motion . It can keep you from bulking out from heavy weight lifting program .

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes it is, indeed.

    • Kmadhav profile image

      Kmadhav 8 years ago from New delhi

      I am following this thing from the last few years.

      Stretching is important before doing exercise.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Shen Guro for reading this article in great detail plus I think you already understand the idea of dynamic and static stretching.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Latoure for the link to your squidoo lens on how to grow taller through stretching. Nice article.

    • Shen Guro profile image

      Shen Guro 8 years ago from Tallahassee Florida

      wait, so are you saying don't stretch before weight lifting? I do agree that STATIC stretching first thing is not a good idea especially before weight lifting as it can fatigue muscles, but Dynamic stretching is a different animal. That would movements like trunk twists and leg swings that get the blood flowing and the tendons awake. I enjoyed your article though and you bring up good points.=)

    • profile image

      Latoure 8 years ago

      You can receive free advise on how to grow taller by 2-3 inches in less than 6 weeks by natural stretching. View my no-cost information on this and enjoy you new height here:

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes Lgali. Anyone can hurt himself if stretching is not performed before running, jogging, or starting a gym exercise. Warm up is necessary for the muscles and ligaments of the body to remove stiffness and improve flexibility.

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      I agree we should do streteching before excercises I hurt myself last spring when I suddenly started running without streteching

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes Mr. James it depends on which type of sports you are into and you are correct time has changed and science and medicine has advanced. Dynamic stretching is winning the debate nowadays.

    • Aidan James profile image

      Aidan James 9 years ago from Sydney

      Interesting to see how thniking has changed over time, once upon a time we were told you always stretch now in many sports the dynamic stretching approach seems to be winnning the debate. Good lens :)

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes prems4u need of stretching and warming up is very important before starting any type of exercise.

    • prems4u profile image

      prems4u 9 years ago from KERALA Cochin

      i agree with need of streteching before excercises