This is a common question that our physical therapists get asked by patients and gym members. Most expect us to say a steady, static stretch that is held for 30-45 seconds is best. We have been led to believe that this type of stretch will reduce our risk of injury during exercise and athletic activities. Although we have been taught this, it is wrong!
The fact of the matter is that static stretching for at least 30 seconds does not reduce your injury risk and will actually hinder your ability to exercise or play at your peak! This must mean that dynamic stretching (active movements) will reduce your injury risk, right? Nope, wrong again! I know this is crumbling the foundation of which you believe to be correct about stretching and how it protects from injury. The evidence is clear though, both static and dynamic stretches do not prevent injuries. So the next question is why do we even stretch then?