Yup — at least according to the results of a study published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Researchers from North Carolina-based Human Performance Consulting had two groups of 16 untrained college students do an eight-week leg-training program incorporating knee-extension, knee-flexion and leg-press exercises three days a week. One group also did static stretching of the hip, thigh and calf muscles for 30 minutes twice a week.
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At the end of the study, the group that had stretched improved its one-rep maxes in the knee-flexion, knee-extension and leg-press moves by 16 percent, 27 percent and 31 percent, respectively, as opposed to 12 percent, 14 percent and 9 percent for the group that didn’t stretch. The takeaway? Especially in the early phase of a training program, a little bit of stretching can indeed do wonders for your strength gains.