July 1, 2009 -- Question: Is it better to stretch before or after weightlifting?
Answer: Stretching is one of those variables in performance training and conditioning that has been kind of all over the board recently. Research is showing that stretching before power activities can actually reduce your power output. However, if you're just ):>lifting weights, I would strongly suggest stretching prior to lifting weights, maybe after a moderate warm-up just to get your body primed up for a full range of motion. And the stretches that we do tend to be more of a dynamic stretch, we don't do a lot of isolation hold kind of stuff.
There's something called active isolative ):>stretching, which we can do on our own if we know the techniques for, which is a great way to stretch prior to activity because it helps prime the body by using one side of the body to contract while the other side of the body relaxes and stretches -- the way it's designed to do. And using those kind of stretching activities prior to activity can help you really get a good workout.
After activity, using flexibility exercises to improve range in motion is somewhat supported, and sometimes it's very important to get that position, but oftentimes those that don't need to stretch do a lot of stretching and vice versa, those that do need to stretch don't because we choose the things we want to do. So it's really important for you to identify: What are you good at and what are you bad at? If you're really inflexible, then I would certainly include some post-workout ):>flexibility training.