Does stretching before or after exercise prevent or reduce post-exercise muscle soreness?
The trials were mostly small (involving between 10 and 30 participants) and of poor quality. Nine were conducted in laboratories using standardised exercises.
Early investigators hypothesised that unaccustomed exercise would cause muscle spasm and many people stretch prior to or after engaging in physical activities, such as sport. Although the muscle spasm theory was discredited, the practice of stretching persists. The perception is that stretching will reduce the risk of injury, prevent or reduce soreness after exercise, or enhance athletic performance.