Ok–for some individuals, stretching in addition to a workout is the icing on the cake…a nice touch, but not really necessary. Or, maybe you’re the type of person who thinks that touching your toes for a few seconds after getting off the treadmill is plenty. As it turns out when, and how, you stretch your muscles can make or break your fitness goals.
Stretching before a workout is critical for preventing injury as well as improving performance. This is especially true if you exercise right after waking up or if you’re fairly sedentary during the day–your muscles are most likely going to be tight. One study showed that stretching for 15 minutes before a workout can help you to avoid injury.