This may seem controversial however this is a topic I have been discussing with my clients for a while. There is now an overwhelming body of research that advocates the use of strength training for improving range of motion above the use of traditional stretching. Indeed, a review (link bellow) looking at multiple research studies has suggested that strength training is just as effective as stretching in generating improvements in range of motion.
So why use strength training instead of stretching?
Although the two may provide similar increases in range of motion there are many benefits from strength training that you do not get with stretching alone, these include:
✅Improved muscle mass
✅Increases bone mass.
✅Decreased injury risk.
✅Decreased falls risk in the elderly.
✅Increased gait speed.
Furthermore, if poor flexibility has been caused through injury there is often weakness and lack of function associated. In these situations the benefits of properly dosed strength training far outweigh the use of stretching!
Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Written By Jonathan Murphy MSc MSST