The reality is, it’s completely possible to overstretch, which can lead to muscle strains and other injuries. By stretching within your range of motion, you protect your muscles, tendons and ligaments while gradually increasing your flexibility.
Foam rolling can replace stretching
I know I’ve just told you (several times) to pick up a foam roller to help relieve tightness and alleviate muscle soreness, but I hate to break it to you, this is not going to be a replacement for stretching, which seems to be a rising trend.
Stretching does just what it says it’ll do: It stretches your muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. It helps maintain and improve flexibility, which is a foundational component of fitness.
Foam rolling is basically self massage. It’s fabulous. I love my foam roller more than I care to admit, but its function is different from stretching. You need to stretch for flexibility benefits and foam roll to work out the kinks. They’re different, and you’ll benefit differently from them both.