More Reasons Not to Stretch
Two more studies have been released giving us more reasons not to stretch. Gretchen Reynolds pulls out the relevant data: Just why stretching hampers performance is not fully understood, although the authors of both of the new studies write that they suspect the problem is in part that stretching does exactly what we expect it to do. It loosens muscles and their accompanying tendons. But in the process, it makes them less able to store energy and spring into action, like lax elastic waistbands in old shorts, which I’m certain have added significantly to the pokiness of some of my past race times by requiring me manually to hold up the garment.
I think that's a good analogy.
There is both kinetic storage capacity and elastic recoil property in fascia, and it seems possible that pre-sports stretching diminishes this. I don't think anyone thinks stretching is "bad" for you (at least I hope not) but I am reminded of one of the conclusions at the recent Connect13 Conference which was that stretching does have benefits but not the ones we think.
I think it would be fascinating to do a study with athletes where the control group does no stretching and the experimental group adds stretching to their conditioning (like say, 2 yoga classes a week) and then compare performance. Any takers?