Can stretching actually decrease performance?

Yes and no. Static stretching, when performed acutely (once in a while), may decrease strength and power production prior to athletic performance; however, the National Academy of Sports Medicine promotes the use of chronic (consistent) static stretching prior to activity and/or athletic performance when used as part of an integrated and dynamic warm-up for individuals who exhibit muscle imbalances (tight muscles) and poor posture. Static stretching can, and should be, used to regain proper length of structurally tight muscles to improve postural alignment and joint function immediately prior to activity. Support for this statement comes from several research studies demonstrating that chronic static stretching may not negatively effect overall performance and may increase performance when used in conjunction with other modalities in an integrated warm-up process. If no postural imbalances exist, dynamic stretching is a preferred method of warm-up.

Continue Learning about Stretching

I feel too relaxed after stretching to workout. Any suggestions?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Yes, try to limit your stretching to a few key areas; for example, only stretch three muscles (holdi...
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What are some upper body stretches?
F. Michael Gloth, IIIF. Michael Gloth, III
Upper body stretches include: Overhead arm stretch -- Extend both arms as high over your head as you...
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What warm-up exercises should I do?
Dr. Vonda Wright, MDDr. Vonda Wright, MD
Warm-up exercise can take the form of an easy walk or a slow jog before a run, or a few slow pool la...
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What is a good warm-up I can do before my shoulder workout in the gym?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
If you planning to perform a shoulder workout, it will be important to adequately prepare these tiss...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.