|To Stretch or Not to Stretch Before Exercise|
By Brett Klika, C.S.C.S.
Brett is the Director of Athletic Performance at Fitness Quest 10. Brett works with hundreds of athletes per year, from youth to professional, helping improve athletic performance and decrease the likelihood of injury. He has co-produced 2 sports performance DVD’s with Todd Durkin.
Flexibility is an important aspect of athletic performance at any level. Flexibility is your body’s ability to move each joint through it’s entire natural range of motion. When you are able to do this, you can create more powerful movements, and your muscles ability to shorten and lengthen quickly in a full range of motion will aid in preventing injury and increasing performance. In knowing this, it would seem very advantageous to make sure your muscles are at their maximum level of flexibility before you train or play in a game. There have been many findings in the research as to what type of flexibility activity is the most effective to improve performance and prevent injury. Unfortunately, many coaches and athletes either do not have access to this research, or chose to ignore the findings, sticking to what has been done in the past, regardless of the effectiveness.