Hey, this is kind of neat. An article in today's New York Times quotes a couple of studies that say you should not stretch before exercising. The money quote:
More fundamentally, the results underscore the importance of not prepping for exercise by stretching, [Dr. Goran Markovic] said. “We can now say for sure that static stretching alone is not recommended as an appropriate form of warm-up,” he said. “A warm-up should improve performance,” he pointed out, not worsen it.
I'd be interested to see how this is playing out at professional level. It seems we get endless shots of players' pre-game stretch routines; are there already players moving away from this? And there are implications for high school and youth teams, too - what happens when your Tri-valley all-star tears a hamstring after being strictly instructed NOT to stretch before the Big Game? High school athletics is big business, and someone will get sued.
Your thoughts, of course, are welcome below. Just remember though, you heard it here first, not from some cushioned shoe, non-iPod wearing, my-exercise-is-better-than-your-exercise, blowhard know-it-all.