To stretch or not to stretch?

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A friend recently asked for my thoughts on stretching. Whether stretching is good for you or not has been debated and studied all over the place for a very long time, and every athlete and coach has their own take. The latest research all recommends dynamic stretching before exercise, and static stretching after, and that’s what I’ve had success with myself.

I found a dynamic routine in an issue of Runner’s World forever ago, and that’s what I do before each run or ride. I should, of course, also find a routine to do before I swim… but I haven’t… yet… I’ll work on that.

I’ve never experienced much tightness in my upper body, so I’m not very good about stretching my arms and shoulders and whatnot. My legs are a very different story. They get noticeably tight if I don’t stretch after a workout, my performance suffers, and I become more prone to injury. So I absolutely do static stretches for my legs and butt after every workout, and a couple more times throughout the day for good measure, to combat desk-job tightness.

So, there you go. There’s a crapton of different dynamic and static stretches out there for the googling. Try them out and see how you feel. Your body will let you know if it’s working.

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