The Definitive Guide to Stretching

Part 1 – An Overview & Effects on Performance

Stretching has been a part of the rehab and performance world since the beginning, but various groups of rehab and performance specialists still disagree on whether it is good, bad, or ugly. In this video series we are going to get to the bottom of things and answer the follow questions:

  • What is physiology behind stretching? (I mean ALL OF THE PHYSIOLOGY)
  • Does stretching prevent injury?
  • How does stretching impact performance?
  • What effect does stretching have on the autonomic nervous system?
  • Does stretching have change motor systems?
  • Does stretching alter myofibers? What about connective tissue?

In Part 1 of this series we will take a look at all of the physiologic “players” we need account for, have a brief overview of the various types of stretching, and talk about acute effects of stretching on performance.


For an overview on how stretching affects performance, see [27:00].

For the bullet point conclusions, see [28:28].

Follow Up – When is Performance Decrement Acceptable?

by Lance Goyke

Brandon is absolutely right. Research tells us that most stretching decreases performance.

But people still do it. Why?

Because performance isn’t the only thing people care about.

Part 2 – Neuromechanics of Stretching

In part 1, we outlined all of the “players” that need to be looked at to determine what type of stretching might be good and when.

In part 2, we start diving into the neural players. Everything from how motor neurons ability to communicate with muscle is altered; to how the brain’s perception might be shifted. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how much of a nerd you are), there’s just too much neuroscience to fit it all in one video, so we’ve saved the autonomic nervous system for part 3.


Here’s the Power of Proprioception, the first video Brandon did for IFAST University.

The Power of Proprioception: Coaching tips for dealing with fatigue and injury

Dynamic Mobility in Practice

by Lance Goyke

Brandon went through a lot of great points about what we’re actually changing in stretching. Remember that there are both (a) structural and (b) neural changes occurring.

“While change in structural tissues may account for some changes in passive tension and range of motion, neural mechanisms account for altered motor unit properties and outputs.” – Brandon Brown

Remember that excess stretching can decrease cortical excitability. That’s why we here at IFASTU try to shy away from longer duration stretching unless we have a really good reason to keep it.

So what does this look like in practice?

Would you like a dynamic warm up you can use right out of the box?

This is my go-to warm up for nearly every client. Even the more sensitive, chronic pain type people usually get something like this. I always warm up the whole body because I believe in holistic fitness and that everything in the body is connected.


Stay tuned. There’s more to come!

Have any questions you want answered in the coming videos? Leave a comment below.

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