Hate to Break It to You, But the Way You’re Stretching Is Kinda Pointless

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Stretching before a workout is good for you, right? Well, it may not actually help prevent muscle soreness or injury and it might even affect your performance during said workout.

Quartz explains that, overall, flexibility is a good thing: We want our muscles to have the full range of motion so we can generate power. But static stretching, like holding your ankle behind your butt to stretch your quads or reaching for your toes to loosen your hamstrings, may not be the best way to improve flexibility.

Experts now believe that dynamic stretching, which mimics real movements, is the better way to increase range of motion. So instead of a standing quad stretch, you might do walking lunges, and in place of a hamstring stretch you could do soldier kicks where you stand with one arm extended forward and swing your opposite leg toward your hand.

Static stretching does feel good, though, and it won’t hurt you, but it may not help you all that much when it comes to your workouts. Unless a certain muscle is really tight, the current thinking is to save those static stretches for after your sweat session. You’re welcome for the longer to-do list!