STRETCHING DOES NOT REDUCE MUSCLE SORENESS OR PREVENT INJURY
Herbert, R. D., & Gabriel, M. (2002). Effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness and risk of injury: systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 325, 468-470.
"The results of five studies . . . imply that stretching reduces soreness in the 72 hours after exercising by, on average, less than 2 mm on a 100 mm scale. Most athletes will consider effects of this magnitude too small to make stretching to prevent later muscle soreness worth while" (p. 470).
"The pooled estimate from two studies was that stretching decreased the risk of injury by 5%. This effect was statistically non-significant. . . On average, about 100 people stretch for 12 weeks to prevent one injury and (if the hazard reduction was constant) the average subject would need to stretch for 23 years to prevent one injury" (p. 470).
Implication. Stretching does not do what it is supposed to do. It does not protect against post-exercise muscle soreness nor does it provide practical reduction in the risk of injury.
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