The warm-up procedure: to stretch or not to stretch. A brief review

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Jan;19(1):12-7. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1994.19.1.12.


Stretching exercises are either performed alone or with other exercises as part of the athlete's warm-up. The warm-up is designed to increased muscle/tendon suppleness, stimulate blood flow to the periphery, increase body temperature, and enhance free, coordinated movement. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature regarding stretching, with the aim of defining its role during the warm-up. Implications of stretching on muscle/tendon flexibility, minimizing injury, enhancing athletic performance, and generally preparing the athlete for exercise are discussed. Physiology applied to stretching is also discussed together with different related techniques and practical aspects. A proposed model stretching regime is presented based on the literature reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscles / physiology*