Strengthening vs Stretching

Your advice today is coming from Mick HughesMick is a Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist who consults at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre, Collins St Melbourne. Mick has a passion for improving treatment outcomes, quality of life and sports performance of all his patients and athletes, especially the adolescent age group. If you wish to discover if Mick is the right wellness expert for you, sign up at Stack Health for free today. Receive your complementary health concierge service where you are matched with your perfect professional no matter where you (or they) are in the world.

 

Stretching is nice,

and by all means stretch as much and as often as you like (except static stretching before your event), but if its the only thing you do to prepare for your sport or event, then you're not going to improve your performance or decrease your injury risk. 

Strengthening however, if it was the only thing you did to prepare for your sport or event, has been shown to improve performance measures such as speed, agility, jump height and running economy and has been shown to significantly reduce injury risk compared to stretching (69% risk reduction vs 4%; Lauersen et al, 2014).  

Take home message: 

By all means static stretch to recover (or foam roller, spikey ball etc etc), and throw in dynamic stretches into your warm up (that also includes strengthening, agility, plyometrics and balance drills), but dont waste your time stretching 45mins 2x per week (if that's all you have time for) when you could be getting better bang for buck strength training in those 2x 45min sessions. 

Bryce Finck