Stretching Before Lifting Makes You Weaker?!

Do you stretch before you lift weights or participate in a sporting event? Did you know it’s possible you may be impairing your performance? 
📌 There’s a phenomenon called stretch-induced strength loss – literally meaning you get temporarily weaker 😅 following a bout of stretching. This has been identified to occur with both static and contract-relax style 🤸‍♀️stretching. However, it does not occur with dynamic stretching 
📌 How much do you need to stretch for it to occur? The strength loss has been noted when stretching for durations of 60 seconds or greater ⬆️ and even with total stretch time under 4 minutes. However, short stretch durations of 30 seconds don’t 🙅‍♂️ appear to elicit the effect 
📌 How significant is the effect? Well, on average for -long- stretch duration (30-60 min) there was a 22% loss in strength 💪 while for shorter durations there was an avg of 8% loss. When it comes to performance the effect was noted to translate into a 3-4% decrease in vertical jump performance 
📌 Why does it occur? There’s a variety of theories but the prevailing one is that it interferes with the function of the corresponding nerves (nerves are stretched & lengthened 🤸‍♀️ along with muscles) & this is supported as the effect is seen even in the limb not being stretched 
❗️What does this mean for you and stretching? 
1️⃣ If you are concerned with performance and have the option, dynamic stretching will usually be a better choice to implement
2️⃣ If you still like to include stretching as part of your warm-up before lifting/athletic tasks you will probably want to keep it brief (under 30 seconds) and perform warm-up sets (that work the muscle you just stretched) right after as that helps slightly counteract the effect 

References: Balle 2015, McHugh 2013, McHugh 2010 Kay 2011

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