Static stretches are a funny thing. They are bad before exercising, good after workouts, and downright amazing when you’ve spent the last eight hours sitting in a desk chair.
“While dynamic stretching has been proven to ‘prime the pump more efficiently and get you ready for exercise performance,’ if you’re looking to increase range of motion, decrease pain, fix your posture, then static stretching is the way to go,” says physical therapist Jared Beckstrand, P.T., D.P.T., founder of Tone and Tighten. Plus, by improving flexibility and posture, static stretching could wind up improving your ability to power through workouts without injury.
Still, some static stretches—old-school, mistaught, or completely against the laws of nature—just suck. Read on as trainers, exercise physiologists, and physical therapists share the six stretches that are wasting your time.
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