Workout Tips

Stretch for Muscle Growth Success

Follow these stretching tips to maximize strength and improve recovery.


One of the questions I find myself being asked most often as a trainer/coach is "should stretching be done before weight training as a warm up, or during a workout? Or should it wait until after you are finished? 

Not only can stretching the wrong muscles at the wrong times hinder your progress, but it may also cause muscle pulls and strains. Most people believe that they should perform static stretches before lifting weights. This is a mistake.

When To Stretch

Stretching a cold muscle can cause injuries that can range from minor strains to actual tears. Research shows that stretching the muscle you’re about to train can cause a significant loss of strength during your lifts. In other words, you may cause yourself to utilize less weight than you are capable of simply because you stretched the muscle beforehand. The same goes for stretching during the workout. Yes, it may feel good and help to increase blood flow a bit, but you would be better off giving the muscle you are training a light massage between sets instead.

Stretching correctly however during training could actually increase strength and improve recovery between sets. What you want to do while training is stretch the antagonistic muscle to the one you are working. In others words, stretch the hamstrings after some leg presses, or the lats after each set of bench presses.

Stretch the antagonistic muscle group during training can be beneficial, but for optimal results consider the following technique.