If your fitness routine includes a pre-workout stretch, you may be spinning your wheels — or worse, hurting yourself.
Many of us were taught that it’s important to stretch before running or exercising. That often included the classic forward bend to touch your toes.
But while stretching can be beneficial in some instances, experts say it’s not vital to include before your workout routine.
“Recent expert opinion has moved away from static stretching before a sport or activity and more toward gradual warming,” says Michael Daignault, an emergency physician in Los Angeles and chief medical adviser for Reliant Health Services. “Furthermore, stretching a cold tight muscle could lead to injury itself.”
Morit Summers, personal trainer and founder of Form Fitness Brooklyn, lauds stretching as an important tool for mobility, but doesn’t suggest her clients do static stretching, where a certain stretch position is held, before a workout.
“If you do a static stretch on a cold body, you can hurt yourself. You can tear a muscle,” she explains.