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Does Stretching Really Prevent Injury?

"Always stretch before exercising"

That sage advice has echoed in the halls of workout rooms and high school gyms for decades.
It sounds like a good idea and is widely practiced, but in fact there is little or no benefit to it.

Research has shown that people who stretch before exercising are no less likely to injure
themselves than those who do not.

In one such study, physiotherapist Rod Pope of Charles Sturt University in Australia examined more
than 2,600 army recruits during training.
His conclusion: "Stretching was assumed to work in preventing injury, but there was no evidence to suggest it did."

Based on his study and those of others, Pope said he recommends that the army stop mandatory
stretching before exercise, saying it's a waste of time.

Stretching can feel good and help prepare the muscles for exercise, and it might have benefits for
people with certain conditions. But evidence does not suggest it does anything to reduce injuries during exercise.

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