At some point, you’ve probably wondered whether you’re better off stretching before or after your workout. The folks at DICK’s Sporting Goods’ “453 and a Half” blog put the question to John Gallucci, medical coordinator for Major League Soccer. His answer: You should do both.
“Stretching prior to a workout or athletic event promotes blood flow and circulation to the muscles and increases the body temperature, therefore ‘warming up’ the muscles,” Gallucci says in the post. He adds that stretching after a workout “maintains the flexibility in the muscles and decreases the amount of shortening and tightening that occurs after activity—in turn, limiting the amount of soreness you feel.”
In the 453 and a Half post, which you can read here, Gallucci and Dr. Lynn Berman explain how your approach to stretching should differ when you’re finished with your workout versus when you warmed up beforehand, and they offer specific moves you can try at each time.