Popular Science

Why (almost) everyone needs to stretch when they exercise

Even if it won't prevent injury.
woman stretching

Many athletes stretch before and after exercise, but they may not be gaining benefits from doing so.

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the value—or lack thereof—of muscle stretching to accelerate recovery after exercise. “Stretching clears out your lactic acid,” and other similar claims abound. Is any of this true?

Sort of.

First, it is important to understand the difference between stretching for recovery and stretching for remodeling.

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