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Static Stretching

There has been controversy over the years regarding static stretching (holding stretches) during a warmup or before a workout. Recently the National Academy of Sports Medicine examined 106 studies on this subject to come up with specific recommendations for static stretching before a workout or sport performance.

The NASM comparison of 106 studies looked at 3 different performance measures to determine if affected by static stretching: 1) strength; 2) speed; and 3) power. The following is a summary of their findings.

  • Less than 30 seconds of continuous static stretching DID NOT negatively impact performance measures.
  • 30-45 seconds of continuous static stretching DID NOT negatively impact performance measures.
  • 1-2 minutes of continuous static stretching DID negatively impact performance measures.
  • Longer than 2 minutes of continuous static stretching DID negatively impact performance measures.

This study shows that warm up activities should consist of static stretches only if held for less than 30-45 seconds at a time.  Extensive and deep static stretching should be saved for after the performance or workout.