Can you touch your toes?

Sometimes I get hit with the “there is not scientific evidence for that” line from someone. For example, stretching has some conflicting “scientific” conclusions. A lot of people leave it out of their program and base their conclusion to do that on the fact that science has not proven it works.

You have to be careful with the “no scientific evidence” line of thinking. Science has never discovered anything, it just tells us why things work. Strength coaches like myself who are in the trenches working with real people find out what works and dudes in lab coats come behind and study what they do to try and figure out why it works. Sports science is more like sports training history from that perspective as the people in the trenches tend to be 5 years or so ahead of the dudes in the lab coats.

Plus, if you look at any great strength coach (Mike Boyle, Gray Cook, Alwyn Cosgrove, Ian king, Charles Poliquin just to name a few) they ALL agree that stretching and mobility training are vital to long term success and injury prevention. Just because science has not come up with an adequate way to study the affects of stretching on long term development of an athlete in no way means that it does not do anything for you.

Science gives us ideas and sign posts to point us in a direction, it does not define everything about training. Stretching is important for mountain biking, or at least the few hundred riders I’ve worked with seem to think so 😉

-James Wilson-

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