To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance by M.P. McHugh and C.H. Cosgrave

Course summary

course type Article
units 1.00
cost $12.00
questions 6

Stretching is commonly practiced before sports participation;
however, effects on subsequent performance and injury
prevention are not well understood. There is an abundance
of literature demonstrating that a single bout of stretching
acutely impairs muscle strength, with a lesser effect on
power. The extent to which these effects are apparent when
stretching is combined with other aspects of a pre-participation
warm-up, such as practice drills and low intensity
dynamic exercises, is not known. With respect to the effect
of pre-participation stretching on injury prevention a limited
number of studies of varying quality have shown mixed
results. A general consensus is that stretching in addition to
warm-up does not affect the incidence of overuse injuries.
There is evidence that pre-participation stretching reduces
the incidence of muscle strains but there is clearly a need for
further work. Future prospective randomized studies should
use stretching interventions that are effective at decreasing
passive resistance to stretch and assess effects on subsequent
injury incidence in sports with a high prevalence of muscle
strains.