While researchers continue to look at the benefits and pitfalls of stretching, there is still limited (and conflicting) evidence to sort out these opinions.
Some research suggests that stretching doesn't prevent muscle soreness after group exercise, personally we believe after most fitness training classes you should feel some muscle tightness/soreness the day after. If you don’t feel anything then you probably need to work harder!!
Researchers Robert Herbert, Ph.D., and Marcos de Noronha, Ph.D. of the University of Sydney conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 previously published studies of stretching either before or after athletic activity. They concluded that stretching before exercise doesn't prevent post-exercise muscle soreness. They also found little support for the theory that stretching immediately before exercise can prevent either overuse or acute sports injuries.
This is our take on stretching …..
We always should warm up, this is vital if you are about to do any vigorous exercise. It's also key, take notice of what you’re body is telling you, if you feel a tight muscle/area stretch it.
After training this is the time to stretch the worked muscles as they are warm. Cool down and hold a given stretch only until you feel a slight pulling in the muscle, but no pain. As you hold the stretch the muscle will relax. As you feel less tension you can increase the stretch again until you feel the same slight pull. Hold this position until you feel no further increase.
Job done… Go home and while you are either showering or bathing (lets hope most of you will take a bath or shower!!) hold a few of the positions again as your body is warm and relaxed.