Sweaty gyms are full of aerobics instructors, coaches and personal trainers preaching the benefits of a good pre- and post-workout stretch. But a new study suggests that all that talk of stretching might be little more than hot air.
After reviewing seven independent studies performed over the past 50 years, Australian physiotherapists Rob D. Herbert and Michael Gabriel concluded that the pre- or post-game warm ups did little more than take up valuable time. According to the study, muscle soreness was rarely averted with the addition of stretching, and activity-borne injuries were affected so little that the time wasted warming up might not be justifiable. “[T]he average subject would need to stretch for 23 years to avoid one injury,” stated the findings published in the August 31, 2002 British Medical Journal. Their conclusion is simply that “
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2002-09-01.