I never instruct clients stretch when cold. My warm ups often include dynamic flexibility drills, and joint mobility drills, but never static stretching.
There are cases where stretching before an exercise is a good idea. If a client has difficulty with ROM in a certain movement, I incorporate static stretches after the warm up, but before the exercise in question. I only stretch the tight muscles that prevent the full range of motion, and it usually goes a long way in improving form.
After exercise sessions are over, I do use static stretching for a cool down.
I have my clients use cardiovascular exercise as warm-up and then may use the ViPR for dynamic moves. I also have them use some MELT techniques to get their bodies into better alignment before we weight train.
Whoa, this is a loaded question. Yes, I do if necessary then I do dynamic warm ups then finish with static again if needed.
For instance I have a client that has tight left biceps femoris, adductors, and calf. I have him foam roll (inhibit), static stretch (inhibit and lengthen), activate glute med and max (activate), then run through dynamic warm up(integrate) to create the proper length tension relationship for the workout. Nobody I train has the same workout prep program.
I think exercise is full of contradictory info, so when I choose my programs I like to be as sure about things as possible. When it comes to observing movement, there are certain to be times when people will just flat out look odd for some reasons. As trainers, a big part of what we need to do is make sure that people don’t get injured. Think about it, at the very least, it is what we are paid to do. So what I am saying, is that we will see people do things that looked incorrect and we need to step up and try to fix it. The easiest thing to do is try to coach or groove the correct pattern. When that doesn’t work, one of the possibilities that could most certainly exsist is that there are structural issues that need to be addressed. That just opens the door for assessments.
For me, if my client is coming to me to relieve pain, the first thing we do is a joint by joint structural assessment, and daily homework is assigned, They do it, then the pains are gone until they either stop doing their work or they do something contrary to what their structure suggests they should do. For pain concerned client, the primary focus of their sessions is improving range of motion and restoring function. This means, the emphasis is on SMR and flexibility training.
I also see composition change clients, whose motives are very different. They want to move, and move, and move!! Primarilly their concerns are not related to allieving pain but more so on changing how they look in the mirror. So initially, I wont do a formal structural assessment with but I will do a Functional Movement Screen and grade how well they move. So I cater to their desire and let them work right away. With that being said, the lower scores that they get on the FMS will be trained first in their respective workouts. Normally, this is going to include areas that need to be mobilized due to tissue restriction.
Those are just my thoughts and general approaches and I hope they help. The take home really is that you don’t want people hurt and when we try to force people to move into positions they get hurt (especially under load and after a days worth of doing nothing more sitting!)
hope that helps a little,