Stretching Really Help Prevent Injury?

August 25th, 2007 by Paul Johnson

I see many bodybuilders in the gym who don’t stretch before they lift weights. It’s no wonder so many people get injured in the gym. Weight lifting is a safe form of excercise, just don’t use bad form and stretch beforehand and you should be safe from severe injuries.There is a lot of debate on the topic of stretching and how beneficial it is in preventing injuries. Part of the problem with trying to get an accurate study, is that injuries can be caused by bad form, prior injuries, and aren't common enough to make results easy to have statistically significant.

A research group published a study for the Journal of Applied Physiology. They asked 10 volunteers to do jumping tasks from various heights. Some of them did stretching and some did not before the task. Researchers were able to see with a ultrasonograph, that stretching allowed the muscle to have a greater recoil ability from stress. One can conclude from these results, that stretching will help prevent injuries.

  1. Jeff Anliker, LMT on October 10th, 2007

    It is very important to understand that you cannot just start stretching without the muscle already being warmed-up. This is something so many people do and actually get injured while stretching. It is good to warm-up on the treadmill at a slow pace for about 10-minutes first to get the circulation going. Once the muscles are warmed-up they are much more pliable. If you stretch them cold, it is like taking a rubber band out of the freezer and expecting it to stretch. It won’t, it will just break! Once the warm-up is completed and the stretches are performed, it is time to exercise. It is important to follow this protocol in order to reduce soft tissue injuries.

  2. Admin on October 11th, 2007

    You are correct Jeff. Thanks for your additional input.