Well, that depends on what type of stretching you are talking about. There are several types of stretching, today we will be discussing static and dynamic. Static is when you get into a stretch position and hold for a certain length of time. Dynamic is when you are moving while you are stretching, without holding a position.
Static stretching prior to exercise has been found to(1,2):
- Decrease performance
- Not reduce injury risk
- Not to significantly decrease soreness
Dynamic Stretching prior to exercise(3)
- Has positive effects on performance
Okay, so what do I do?
Go through a warm-up including dynamic stretching pre-exercise. Save the static stretching for after or another day to work on flexibility if that is your goal.
Not sure if you need to work on stretching or mobility?
Andersen, J., 2005. Stretching Before And After Exercise: Effect On Muscle Soreness And Injury Risk. [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1250267/> [Accessed 17 December 2020].
Rubini, E.C., Costa, A.L.L. & Gomes, P.S.C. The Effects of Stretching on Strength Performance. Sports Med 37, 213–224 (2007). https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200737030-00003
Opplert, J., Babault, N. Acute Effects of Dynamic Stretching on Muscle Flexibility and Performance: An Analysis of the Current Literature. Sports Med 48, 299–325 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0797-9