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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it better to stretch before or after working out?

    I see some people stretching in the gym before their workout while others stretch afterward. Which is better? Is it best to stretch before AND after?
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  • 1


    John Toomey

    Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer

    I'm a down to earth practising (and fully accredited) Exercise Physiologist based in Esperance, WA. I have been a practising EP since 2004. I've been … View Profile

    What the fitness industry has been advising with regard to stretching as changed over the years as more research into stretching, flexibility, range of motion and stiffness has been conducted. What can be agreed upon is that one should not stretch when cold. i.e. warm-up first, or stretch post-exercise.

    Stretching before a workout still needs to be done after a warm up (to minimise chance of straining the muscle) but is generally to help the person feel a bit looser and freer - but not specifically to improve flexibility. This stretches are often quite brief and dynamic rather than static.  Stretching after a workout when the body is really warm will likely be a better time to actually improve muscle flexibility - and is generally when stretches are held for longer.

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