So what are we to make of these results that conclude stretching has little or no impact, when it’s something we are all encouraged to do? I turned to the author of one of those reviews, Rob Herbert, from the George Institute in Australia, to get his advice. He gave me an answer which, as someone who can’t be bothered to stretch before I go running, I have to confess I like.
He said if you enjoy stretching then it’s fine to carry on and it will do you no harm, but that taking all the evidence into account, it probably won’t help much. I was glad to see he puts his evidence-base results into practice in his own life. When I interviewed him from a studio in Sydney he had just come from playing football. Had he stretched beforehand? No.
You can hear more Medical Myths on Health Check on the BBC World Service.
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