Should athletes include static stretching (SS) as part of a warm-up routine in their programming? Research suggests eccentric strength training can achieve the same four objectives of SS:
- Improve flexibility
- Enhance performance
- Prevent injury
- Improve return to sport post injury
The authors discuss whether or not SS is worth including in athletic programming or if it can be replaced with a gradual strength training program. Ultimately they make the case for replacing static stretching with strength training (ST) since it achieves all the desired performance goals while static stretching could impair some aspects of performance. If there is no added benefit to using static stretching, why include it in athletic programming?
Opinions against stretching have emerged from studies similar to this one. While there’s not enough evidence that static stretching boosts athletic performance, there isn’t evidence to show it’s harmful and should be avoided altogether.