The Value of Flexibility?

So I just read another article in a fitness magazine saying there is no evidence that stretching improves health or athletic performance. It seems that this is increasingly the view of the scientific community even though most workout programs still include flexibility as one of the components of a good program along with cardio, strength, muscle endurance and balance.

I know that I enjoy stretching and yoga and feel like they help with my range of motion. What do you think?

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Here is the article:

Didn’t read thru the article yet, and I know Outside mag usually reliable writing, but … for this guy stretching is not even an open question; it’s an absolute essential.

The caveat, of course, is each person should do what’s “right” and what’s “best” for them – which is probably a combo of differing disciplines but which makes you feel and function your best.

Oh, PS:
A lot of pro golfers are into yoga and credit it with helping their performance.

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OK, well written article and it seems the author took care to point out that static stretching - in isolation - has no known documented health benefits … on its own … but in combination with the other fundamental conditioning regimens may be helpful (synergistically).

That I can agree with - and also with his point that static stretching is evolving into dynamic stretching - ie. increasing range of motion while moving.


I would agree that static stretching is bad for you or at least doesn’t really help you. You definitely need to put your muscles in complex positions. I once read that static stretching is likened to that of pulling a rubber band out of the freezer and just pulling on it. It most likely is going to break, and your muscles are really no different than that.

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That’s true. But the research tends to show no help from any flexibility routines.

Yeah, definitely a click bait article title. Static stretching really shouldn’t be done pretty much by anyone, but dynamic stretching like yoga is essential IMO. Just look at pro teams before games, their routines are designed by the best experts out there and they all involve dynamic stretching warmups


The golf swing requires incredible mobility. Hips, spine, shoulders, neck. Everything. Not sure how you keep that mobility without activating your muscles and joints in a similar fashion before you pick up the driver and slash away! Stretching surely has to be better for golf than sitting hunched over at your desk all day… But I’m no scientist!


As all of us who sit at a desk all day then show up to league night can attest to! Those first few warmup swings can be rouggghhhhh

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As one who pulls up to the course and takes 3 practice swings before my first shot, I feel incredibly justified by this. If something is tight I’ll do some light stretching to loosen up, but it’s not something I do consistently.

Also as I started lifting more a few years ago, I don’t see any flexibility loss in my swing

You’re proving what the research shows—that there is no evidence that a flexibility routine improves performance. As for me, I’m going to keep it up because I like how it makes me feel.

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Bumping this topic. I find value in static stretching-maybe not so much in golf performance but just in how I feel overall and how I walk. I’m 64, with two bad knees(having one replaced in August), and I find static stretching makes me feel better. I also do the mobility work from the Drive 400 program, but if I only do the stretching it still helps. My hamstrings and thighs especially feel better if I stretch every day.


I’m big on static stretching. Thigh and hamstrings as well as shoulder stretches including range of motion (dynamic?) for shoulders. It generally makes me feel better, plus I feel I can take a full rip with my 85mph driver speed and not injure any connective tissue :wink:

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