Posted: 07/03/2014 at 15:15
Hey Malcs, hello all!
Yes, you explained it pretty much right, Malcs, about the question mark over stretching. Evidence is now emerging that an isometric contraction - where you exert a force but without any movement (so usually done against an immovable object) - enhances joint range as well as a traditional stretch WITHOUT the reduction in power output and economy associated with stretching. This study shows that economy in runners was better in the least flexible; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19050648
Another criticism of traditional stretching is that it stretches the origin and insertion (where the muscle attaches via tendon to bone) rather than the belly of the muscle, where we want to regain length.
I'm hoping to write a feature about this soon. Will keep you posted
PS. Minni - you'll be glad to hear that many studies show that a caffeine taper isn't necessary to gain the benefits to performance