A recent study in the journal The Physician And Sports medicine says that doing stretching exercises before any form of power sports may not decrease the risk of injury, as thought so till date.
Since early 1980s doing stretching exercises before sports is considered to prevent injuries and improve athletic abilities. Researchers had decided to conduct a study to see if stretching did at all do the good it is assumed to do. The study shows that stretching, as a part of an exercise routine may be beneficial as thought so. However there is no proof that only stretching before activity (with or without warming up) helps in reducing the risk of injury. Neither there is any proof that it helps in increasing the athletic prowess of the person. On the corollary, stretching may reduce both the force and power of the person in the athletic activity. It reduces the power of activity by about 2% to 5%.
The researchers are of the opinion that regular stretching exercises are good for the body as a part of the exercise routine. However, athletes should be aware of the detrimental value of only stretching before any sports requiring power and force. In that case, warming up the body is a better option.