In the Ottawa Metro today there is a full page article on summer sports injuries with a large photo of a woman stretching. A Dr. Douglas Stoddard, a sports therapist, has a large quote in the article stating "the biggest reason people get injured is flexibility or loss of it." I have heard lots of conflicting information about stretching before exercise and it's benefits on injury prevention. A quick search on Pubmed however reveals that there is little doubt that stretching before exercise has no impact on the frequency of injury. A sample of articles: 1, 2 and 3. It is no wonder how myths like this are so prevalent considering the article in the metro quoting an authority on sports injuries. This also gives me a great excuse to maintain my inflexible figure, and is probably a great geeky pick-up line next time you see someone stretching.
However, the stretching institute begs to differ.
Of course there are other reasons for maintaining physical flexibility.