Workout of the Day

Does Stretching Prevent Injuries?


If injury prevention holds value in your book, then stretching may not be the first tool you should turn to.

Common wisdom, and likely the advice of the average personal trainer or most mass-appeal fitness articles, will tell you that stretching is important (if not essential) for injury prevention. But the research, as well as our own practice, tells a different story.

A meta-analysis of numerous research articles examining methods for preventing sports injuries shows us that strength training, not stretching, is the most effective means for injury prevention. The paper compared four methods -- strength training, stretching, proprioception training, and multiple exposure programs -- and found that strength training provided the greatest protection with a 69% decrease in injury risk, proprioception training provided a 45% decreased risk, multiple exposure provided a 38% decrease, and stretching came in last place with a (statistically insignificant) 4% decrease in risk. On top of this, strength training reduced overuse injuries by almost half.

Don’t get it twisted - we value flexibility. It is one of the ten physical skills that our GPP program aims to develop, and we include mobility as part of our GPP program, and often prescribe our students some extracurricular mobility work to address imbalances or weaknesses. Proper range of motion permits greater strength gains and better movement. But if we’re in the game of injury prevention and longevity along with performance (we are), the value of strength training cannot be overestimated.

There’s a quiet war being waged between factions of coaches, trainers, and fitness authorities who place a high value on strength training and those who cast it aside as dangerous, unimportant, unbecoming, or whatever else. While these voices likely won’t change their story any time soon, we can rest assured that our principles of prioritizing strength for all of our students is rooted in research as well as practice.

Lift strong and prosper, folks. It might just be the best thing for you.

You can can read the research paper HERE.

- PS


  • 3 rounds for reps:

  • In 3 mins:

    • 400m run

    • AMRAP squat clean (135/95)

  • Rest 2 mins

  • In 3 mins:

    • 400m run

    • AMRAP rope climbs

  • Rest 2 mins