T Nation

When to Stretch?


Is it fine / good to stretch after a workout and then before you go to bed?


Sure why not?


As long as you don't static stretch before exercise. many studies show that static stretching, or holding the muscle in a stretched state for a period of time, can actually decrease performance


Some form of stretching (PNF, Static, Dynamic etc etc.) should be mandatory after a workout. There's tons of articles on here based around stretching. Use that search button!!


I read about this too and have stopped stretching. Instead, I am very careful to warm up with light weight before I move on to heavy lifting. Never had a problem with this approach. So I would say "never" in answer to your question.


Huh...the OP said AFTER the workout. And dynamic stretching is fine before WO, the studies also said that. I doubt you have really read much about that. What was used in those studies was static stretching for 30-45 seconds, it really isn't the same as dynamic stretching.


Sorry. I obviously missed the point about the post workout stretching. Mea Culpa on the static vs dynamic stretching. Here's what I recall reading, and it obviously deals with static stretching. Good call.

Until recently, static stretching was considered an essential part of warm-up for training and competition in almost all sports. During the past 10 years, many studies showed that static stretching decreased strength, power and neuromuscular control. It decreased performance in power and strength athletes and might actually increase the risk of injury. An interesting study from Greece found that static stretching longer than 30 seconds caused substantial decreases in static and dynamic strength. They measured the effects of stretch duration (no stretch and stretches lasting 10, 20 30 and 60 seconds), static stretches of the quadriceps (thigh) on isometric strength and force capacity at slow and fast speeds. Stretches lasting less than 30 seconds had no effect on strength, but 30- or 60-second stretches decreased isometric strength by 8.5 percent and 16 percent. Stretching also decreased strength during movement. Appropriate flexibility is important for athletes, but excessive flexibility can make joints unstable. The appropriateness of flexibility training depends on the sport and the athlete. Static stretching before practice or competition in power sports is not recommended. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 22: 40-46, 2008)


Yup pretty much what I was referring to! Good job getting that!


Do some light dynamic stretching as part of your warm-up. After your workout, when you are pumped, do some static stretching on the muscles you just worked. If you feel like stretching before you go to bed, go for it.

If you're a strength athlete, don't try to be hyper-flexible, though. Like everything, there is an 'optimal'. You don't want to be so tight that you're injury prone, but excess flexibility can reduce force production. Think about building a small catapult with a rubber band. You don't want to pull the band so tight that it snaps when you get the catapult pulled all the way back, but if you leave too much slack you won't be able to launch with any velocity.


ye i know not to do static stretch before workouts because ive read the whole vjb and kelly bagget explains it well.

im just wondering its excellent if i stretch like hold it for 10-15 secs each stretch after a workout and before going to bed right?


Yes, but why wait till just before bed? I like to stretch a couple times after a workout to prevent muscles from getting tight and sore.