I've read from others that stretching can be very beneficial to weightlifting. I'm 44 years old and I notice myself getting injured easier and my muscles get tight/cramped more frequently than when I was younger. So I'd like to try stretching, but where do I start?

Are there any good books or guides on stretching to support weightlifting?

  • 1
    You never specified whether you are asking about stretching before or after. Warm up before you weight lift, but stretch afterwards.
    – DKNguyen
    Oct 15, 2020 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


Stretching is not beneficial to weightlifting or strength training, unless a lack of flexibility prevents you from performing an exercise. E.g. If your shoulders are so inflexible that you can't hold the bar in a back squat or catch the bar in a snatch, stretching your shoulders may help you perform those specific exercises.

But there is no benefit to stretching in terms of reduction in soreness or injury risk. Stretching before exercise can also cause temporary reductions in stretch which can negatively impact your workout. Increased flexibility can also result in chronic performance reductions - e.g. flexible pecs are inefficient for the bench press, and flexible calves are inefficient for running.

If you want to stretch because it feels good or because you have specific flexibility goals, then you can stretch after a strength workout, but this certainly isn't necessary if you have no other reason to do it.

For more information, see: https://www.strongerbyscience.com/benefits-of-static-stretching-stretched-out-of-proportion/

  • Thank you for that article. I'm going to investigate this a bit. My previous injury-led physical therapy sessions have always been mostly about stretching. The non-clinical research anecdotal stories I've read have also extolled the tremendous virtues of stretching. But proper research can certainly force me to consider those as just myths.
    – at.
    Oct 14, 2020 at 9:37
  • 1
    Just to add/clarify, I'd say stretching includes being flexible enough (having large enough range of motion) to complete a movement with good technique. For example, if you lack hip/ankle mobility you may "butt wink" towards the bottom of squats or round your back to compensate, both of which can lead to injury.
    – TravisJ
    Oct 14, 2020 at 17:08

A favorite book of mine is: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett.

It is far more comprehensive than just stretching but it provides lots advice and techniques for improving mobility for the purpose of being able to perform exercizes with proper technique (helping to avoid injury). It also serves as a very good guide to proper technique and some basic biomechanics.

  • This book looks great! I’ll check it out tomorrow.
    – at.
    Oct 16, 2020 at 8:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.