Saturday, May 9, 2009

Stop Static Stretching

I've said this before, but here is another new study:

Acute effect of a ballistic and a static stretching exercise bout on flexibility and maximal strength.

Consequently, static stretching may not be recommended before athletic events or physical activities that require high levels of force. On the other hand, ballistic stretching could be more appropriate because it seems less likely to decrease maximal strength.

So don't do static stretching before your makes you weaker. Ballistic stretching could be OK however.

Mike Nelson has been saying the same thing recently.


Charles R. said...

tom Kurz ("Stretching Scientifically) has been saying the same thing for years and years. Back in the 90s, I gave his book to my martial arts instructor, someone with 40 years of experience, and he quickly changed all his classes from static stretching beforehand to ballistic stretching, and it made a difference.

Dan Hubbard, M.Ed. said...

I think we need to be careful before throwing static stretching under the bus. I know many studies support the notion that static stretching decreases performance and power. But, it may be a little quick to say "stop static stretching altogether." For one, timing is important- when do you perform a static stretch? Two, what muscles are being stretched- can performance actually improve or decrease injury risk when certain muscles (iliopsoas, rhomboids) are statically stretched, but not some others (hamstrings, glutes). Finally, like any good program, is it based on a thorough assessment of the individual (have they had an injury where ROM is below average)?

I know a lot of excellent trainers who train hundreds of athletes a year and they see it all. A lot of them still use static stretching as a tool for some situations.

I feel static stretching may have its place and can be effective if used appropriately- that may not be right before a competition on muscles that are at their optimal length/activation.

Chris said...


that is true. The thing is that it is not generally appropriate for a warm up.

I often have tight hip flexors - psoas and iliacus - which can set of my bad back and static stretching of those can really ease a sore back.

Working at a desk all day dosesn't help



eshlow said...

HIP flexors static before especially for any movement where you're using hip extension..... sprinting, jumping, etc.

Otherwise, save those statics for afterwards.

Not hard concepts TBH.

Actually the exception (like hip flexors) is if the activity you're doing requires flexibility... such as a gymnastics floor routine where men do a split in their routine for example.

Mike T Nelson said...

Thanks for the post Chris!

I am not saying don't fix your broken body or any movement issues you have, I am just saying that static stretching LONG TERM is not the best solution.

Short term, your knee cap won't blow of or anything, but do you want to keep teaching your muscles to be weaker?

Dynamic joint mobility work can replace virtually all static stretching.

Most that have hip issues also have feet/ankle issues too.

Rock on
Mike T Nelson
PhD(c), CSCS

LeslieW said...

Saw this on

Mike T Nelson said...

Thanks Leslie! If static stretching has a "bad" effect and we can get rid of that by dynamic work, why would we static stretch again?

What did the people say?

Rock on
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
Extreme Human Performance