Question: Does stretching before I lift make me weaker and more likely to get hurt?
- Static stretching before you lift may result in a lower overall training volume
- Static stretching before your lift will probably not inhibit strength gains
- You’re probably not stretching enough & your lack of mobility is probably hindering your overall training
So the first two takeaways above are from this study from 2017.
The last one is from my 10-years of working with people like you.
Static stretching briefer you workout is one of those things you may have learned in high school gym class along with staring at the ceiling when you squat.
But that doesn’t make it correct.
In the study mentioned above static stretching before exercise (in this case unilateral knee extension) resulted in a 15-20% decrease in overall volume when participants were asked to take each set performed to failure.
Which means they were able to do LESS work after static stretching.
However, strength was nearly identical in both groups.
So static stretching doesn’t seem to inhibit strength, even with a lower number of reps performed (Which is an interesting topic as well).
Yet, it appears that hypertrophy was significantly greater in the group that did not stretch before work (Probably because more volume equals more muscle growth). Again, this is a point that peaked my interest because I’d much rather be as strong as possible WITHOUT being big and bulky (Which can be a liability when cramming yourself down a hallway in full gear looking for a dirtbag in the back bedroom – for example)
And, not surprisingly, flexibility in the group that stretch was significantly great than the group that didn’t stretch. #shocking
So that covers the study…
My personal observations over the last 10+ years training and coaching people are this:
- Your mobility sucks
- This is leading to injuries that are 100% preventable and not some unavoidable consequence of getting older
- Your lack of mobility is limiting your overall performance
- You already don’t stretch enough, so don’t go looking for excuses to stretch even less.
So, what does this all mean for you?
It means that stretching before, during, after, in the middle of the night, every hour throughout the day, and any other time you think of it is still probably going to be better for you in the long run
To make this as super simple as possible, I recommend you check out ROMWOD which is a service I’m a member of and is the number one way (in my humble opinion) to take care of all your current aches/pains/limitations in one short 15-20 minute routine each day.
All you have to do is follow along.
You can check it out using this link to their main page: http://romwod.com
If you don’t want to do that, but would still like to completely change your hip mobility for the better, making every lower-body movement you do better then check out this video!