Shortly after the ‘stretching before training and games is bad' paradigm raised up in the late 1990s, a default position was also promoted – to stretch afterwards. Ironic (or tragic) in that in my opinion for the most part, those promoting this position don’t stretch and have low competency and personal scores in flexibility.
I am often asked my position on this topic. The mere fact a person asks indicates they have been influenced in some way by this ‘trend’. Here is typically how I answer this:
The new athlete asked: “Do would you recommend stretching before or after training?”
Coach King: “Stretch before. Stretching afterwards is the default positioned promoted by those involved in discouraging effective stretching, their motive something we could chat fo hours on.
Stretching after has the single advantage of having higher body temperature, which in itself is not a pre-requisite for success or change from stretching.
Stretching after has the following disadvantages:
1. You fail to receive the benefits of pre-training stretching, which include but are not limited to increased joint gap therefore reduced joint wear, reduced compression of nerves, better blood supply, and less pain.
2. You are tired and therefore risk the following - performing the stretching will less quality than if done first and fresh; and not doing it all because you just want to have a shower, meal etc and relax
So if it was a choice, I would always do before.”