Is there a benefit to stretching?

The other day on the radio I heard about a new study, which recently came out saying you shouldn’t stretch before exercise.

I guess I had never given this much thought. I don’t normally stretch before I exercise. But whether I am spinning, practicing yoga or in a body conditioning class we start slow and warm up and then build the intensity.

Experts differ on whether you should stretch before or after or even at all.

This WebMD article quotes a few studies along with the American College of Sports Medicine, which says: Regular flexibility exercises are “crucial to maintaining joint range of movement.” … Some studies have shown that regular flexibility exercises help maintain your range of movement as you age. … Studies also show that regularly stretching the muscles that are constantly shortened through your work posture or daily routine can ease and prevent chronic pain.

Also in the same WebMD article,  there is not substantial evidence that stretching before exercise lowers risk of injury, decreases muscle soreness after exercise, or improves your performance.

A dynamic stretch can get your body moving before a workout. A good example of a dynamic stretch is standing Cat-Cow pose.

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