By now you know FLEX’s stand on static (reach and hold) before weight lifting – don’t do it. That’s because research shows that this form of strecthing can decrease muscle strength. So do it after your workout. New research from Florida State University (Tallahassee) shows that stretching before running also slows you down. However, they found that when trained runners strecthed before running, they burned 5% more calories during a 30-minute run. So if you run for performance, keep the stretching for after the run. However, if you run to burn off more body fat, consider stretching before you run to burn more calories and therefore more fat.

Jim Stoppani, PhD

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.

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