You can read the articles Stretching For Strengthening and The Warm-Up Manifesto for my opinion on pre-workout stretching.
However, the one aspect I am noticing in this thread is the high number of repetitions (i.e. excessive volume) during general warm-up maneuvers. This is unnecessary and frankly counterproductive.
I just recently posted a new article on this
topic at http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=965456&pageNo=2#968767
(scroll to the bottom.)
Here’s a quote that is relevant to this discussion:
'Many coaches prescribe too many repetitions for dynamic stretching. For instance, if we go to Hartmann & Tunnemann’s excellent text titled Fitness and Strength Training for All Sports, the following is recommended for the repetition stretching method:
“The repetition (also known as the dynamic or ballistic) method involves stretching with repetitive pulls or bounces using small intervals, rather than just one pull. An athlete begins the first repetition over a relatively small range of joint motion, gradually increasing the amplitude range, reaching after 15-20 movements, the maximal range. The process is then repeated 3-4 times, using body weight or an external force (weight, partner, etc.)”
Now, the authors are quick to point out that stretching methods should be performed after each training session; however, dynamic stretching as part of a warm-up can be useful to decrease muscle damage and improve performance. It will definitely help rev up the nervous system in preparation for activity. Keep in mind, though, that it takes only 10-15 seconds of contractions to raise the body temperature by 1 degree Celsius and a proper warm-up should raise body temperature by 1-2 degrees Celsius (1.4-2.8 degrees Fahrenheit) to cause sweating; therefore, 5-10 reps per movement is all you really need.
Remember, the goal of a warm-up is performance not fatigue!’
By the way, no shameless plug here. I refuse to mention my Warm-Up to Strength Training DVD that can be purchased at
I just won’t do it!