Interestingly, the science apparently says that you can't lengthen muscle and tendons and that stretching doesn't reduce injuries.
Cliff, interesting only because people believe such nonsense in the first place and don't know what stretching is for or even what it is really.
So firstly stretching does reduce injuries.
Thinking stretching is about lengthening muscle or tendons is a false definition and so viewed from that and acted upon as that would cause injury but that is acting on a false definition. In other words stupid.
When your neck feels tight what do you do? When any part of your body feels tight in fact...what do you do? Yes you stretch it.
Are you tryuing to make muscles longer or tendons longer? No. So how on earth can people believe such nonsense in the first place?
Yoga stretches, in ballet they stretch and boy do they stretch. Do any of those folk say it's to make anything longer? No.
Words used by such folk are suppleness or such terminology. So we have two things happening..removing tightness or tension and on the plus side done as a discipline to increase suppleness, pliability.
So we see stretching is to do with these two things. Static stretching before doing something is thus obviously just a simple warm up, removing any tension or tightness. I don't care who the expert is but by demonstration if I was to say to them I was going to apply a strangle hold for example I would see them immediately do something stretching wise to do with their neck, an automatic reaction. Getting it ready. That's what stretching does...get the parts ready for action.
So we see stretching is to do with readying in the form of releasing tension and restoring normal pliability. Bottom line.
Normal pliability allows energy to pass through without damaging. Simple sense. Like taking any kinks out of the hose pipe.
By the way, stretching muscles is a thing...it exists...do you know where that exists?
It exists in body building and weight lifting. It's a mechanic of building extra muscle mass. In fact it's all to do with overstretching whilst tense, an interesting mechanic. The fibres are broken on purpose in order to make the body repair and increase the size. That's why they say no pain no gain.
If I go even deeper then we would be looking at muscles themselves and tendons themselves and a factor which relates to stretching and that factor as I said is pliability and suppleness. So what is it called? Elasticity.
They have or rather should have optimum elasticity and the main reason for them not having such is not purely down to exercise. Their are nutrients. The only reason you eat is for nutrients and the rest is passed out as waste. Certain nutrients are thus needed for the optimum elasticity of muscles and tendons. A mineral called magnesium is a prime example.
Thus it's good to see the whole picture.