Strengthening vs Stretching
Was really interesting seeing people's responses, discussions and questions raised from last night's post regarding stretching in endurance runners. For those interested, here's my 2 cents worth regarding stretching.. Stretching is nice, and by all means stretch as much and as often as you like (except static stretching before your event), but if its the only thing you do to prepare for your sport or event, then you're not going to improve your performance or decrease your injury risk. Strengthening however, if it was the only thing you did to prepare for your sport or event, has been shown to improve performance measures such as speed, agility, jump height and running economy and has been shown to significantly reduce injury risk compared to stretching (69% risk reduction vs 4%; Lauersen et al, 2014).
Take home message:
By all means static stretch to recover (or foam roller, spikey ball etc etc), and throw in dynamic stretches into your warm up (that also includes strengthening, agility, plyometrics and balance drills), but dont waste your time stretching 45mins 2x per week (if that's all you have time for) when you could be getting better bang for buck strength training in those 2x 45min sessions.