Science Explains If And When You Need To Stretch Before Exercising

Stretching is one of those activities that seems to get picked on a lot. Sometimes, we’re told that we absolutely need to stretch before exercising, while other times we’re told it doesn’t matter. AsapSCIENCE breaks down the science of it all and shows us which activities benefit from stretching and which don’t.

In sports that require flexibility, such as figure skating or snowboarding, stretching is helpful. However, too much stretching can actually decrease muscle strength in power sports, such as speed skating and bobsledding. Regardless, there’s little evidence that stretching actually decreases soreness. It’s more beneficial to do a warm up, where you slowly increase physical activity before hitting your full stride.

Does Stretching/Warming Up Actually Help? [YouTube]


  • 100,000 BP

    Panning shot across African veldt.

    Zoom on group of early humans sitting under tree.

    Cut to pride of lions approaching.

    Swing back to early humans as they see lions. They all stand up and spend next 5 minutes stretching before they start to run away.

    I don’t think so. They bloody well start to run as soon as they see the lions.

    Also, note that they aren’t all carrying 2 litre bottles of water that they sip from every few minutes.

    Humans evolved in Africa to run when they had to, without warming up, and to go for days without drinking.

Log in to comment on this story!