Cressey’s Take: Static Stretching

About the Author: Eric Cressey

Q: What’s your take on frequency of static stretching? Is it “the more, the better”? More or less, how many days per week would be a good idea?

A: In a nutshell…

1) I’m not as huge an advocate of stretching as I used to be, but I still think people need to do it – especially those who sit at computers all day.

2) Activation work and dynamic flexibility drills are ten times as valuable as static stretching. I’d rather do 6-8 mobilizations than a 12-15 second static stretch.

3) More people need to pay attention to soft-tissue work. Many times, muscles will just feel tight because they’re so knotted up. It’s not just about soft tissue length anymore; it’s about quality, too. You can check out my article The Joint Health Checklist for details.

4) My clients do 2-3 static stretches pre-training at the very most (only chronically overactive muscles), and the rest are at other times of the day. We’ll include some static stretching of non-working musculature during training in between sets just to improve training economy.

5) Stretching daily has helped a lot of my clients improve faster, but I think that they’ve come along almost just as well with pure activation and mobilization work (we do both).

Eric Cressey

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