Can stretching lead to injuries, rather than prevent it?
An Ontario study that investigated the stretching habits of nearly 1,300 runners between the ages of 14 and 76 (mean age of around 30) found that stretching did not reduce injuries! Runners who always stretched before running had more or less the same injury rate as runners who never stretched before running. The most interesting discovery was that runners who infrequently stretched had much higher injury rates than both of the other groups.
The study stated that this may be because the runners who infrequently stretched did not stretch correctly and most likely aggressively overstretched when they did stretch. More is not better, in fact overstretching can lead to injuries.
How do you prevent this? Follow a well structured stretching program! I recommend reading Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett. I myself have also bought this cheap foam roller which I use to help roll out injuries. By taking these steps you can prevent injuries in 60 seconds!
Ward, Paul E., and Robert D. Ward. Encyclopedia of Weight Training: Weight Training for General Conditioning, Sport, and Body Building. Laguna Hills, CA: QPT Publications, 1991. Print