Workouts: Does Stretching Help?

Stretching before exercise or sports may not improve performance or reduce the chance of injury.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM May 3, 2004

Touch your toes. Reach for the sky. Twist from side to side.

If you've ever played on a sports team or gone to gym class, you probably know the drill. First, you do some warmups. Then you stretch. Exercises and activities follow. At the end of class or practice, you do more stretches.

For decades, coaches and gym teachers have insisted that stretching helps athletes perform better, suffer fewer injuries, and feel less sore the next day. From the health club to the football field to the gym...

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