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Between workouts I tend to be a little lazy about stretching, so I'm wondering if I'm hurting myself or my performance by not stretching much between workouts.

Any one of these more specific questions might help answer this if my question is too general:

  • As your muscles are healing between workouts do tight muscles influence recovery at all?
  • If muscles are tight all the time then are your tendons going to be worn down, pulled off, or injured in any way?
  • Are there any known injuries that are associated with or can be mistaken for tight muscles instead of the injury?

Specifically, I'm running a hard workout as soon as I recover so I'm living in a state of light pain all the time. If I wait an extra day then I usually find that all the pain goes away around the time I would normally do another workout. So I realize that I just lost a day of training. Which stinks so I'm curious how other thoughtful exercise freaks deal with this.

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Muscle stiffness can cause issues. Muscles are not rigid like a bricks. They are made out of stretchable fibers, connected to tendons, that attach them to bones. Muscle fibers are elastic in nature, and when you do the stretching, you are making them prepared for the stress they will undergo next. Any sudden and unusual change, or movement can cause injuries, because sudden force mean more power, high impulse and so is the damaging effect.

In your case, I think your muscles need more recovery time to recover from the previous workout. If your pain is concentrated to any specific body part/parts, get them checked. They may have injuries, but if it's general fatigue, then you need more resting time and make sure your muscles are getting enough calories and nutrients to be fully nourished and to grow.

So, why not to train different set of muscles every alternate day, if the pain persists? That way you won't be training the same group of muscles, and also not lose any day of training. I know complete isolation exercise for any specific muscle group is not possible(not that I know), but still, doing things like arms and legs on one day, then chest and shoulder on the other would be a good idea in your case.

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  • +1 Due to too tight/stiff calves (and not properly stretching after training) I suffered from a severe case of brusitis on the achilles heel. (Good) Stretching after a workout solved the tight-muscle-problem. – User999999 Sep 20 '16 at 7:22

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