I’ve written extensively about post-workout stretching, but not specifically on the importance of pre-workout stretching. Warming up is the key weapon in your anti-injury arsenal, as it maximises joint flexibility and blood flow to the muscles, all of which limits the chance of strain/pain which could put you out of action for some time! It gets you into the groove for the coming workout, massages the heart rate slowly upwards, and even contributes to the process of ‘recovery’ after your session.
I think that unconsciously, as humans, we stretch throughout the day. The first thing the body wants to do when awakening in bed is to stretch out properly, enjoy a massive yawn and prepare itself for the day ahead. I think the same goes for training; one needs to prepare the body for the workout ahead. In this day and age, we sit in one position for hours on end, more than ever before. So if you’re sat a desk for 10 hours straight, only breaking for tea and preferably water breaks, some muscles will naturally become tighter and others weaker.