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  Many of us were taught to stretch before we do any kind of exercise. In fact, the best time to stretch depends on the kind of exercise we’ll be doing. For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to separate exercise into three categories: strength training that involves slow, controlled movements; training that involves quick, uncontrolled movements, and anything else.
For strength training, there’s evidence that stretching before a workout is counter-productive. Strength training requires muscles to contract tightly against a heavy weight, and loosening the muscle fibres by stretching them first reduces their ability to do this. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t warm your muscles up before strength training – just avoid stretching them first. If you want to include stretching in the same workout as strength training, it’s better to wait until after you’ve finished your weights work.
For anything involving uncontrolled dynamic movements, however (and this would include most sports, dance methods and martial arts), stretching beforehand is important to avoid injury. Just think back to the rubber band metaphor.
For anything that doesn’t fit into either of these categories, you can probably include your stretching whenever you want to. For example, if your exercise is walking (and you do a lot of walking, so it’s within your usual range of motion), you could stretch before, after, during or any combination of the three.

 The important thing about stretching is that it should never be done on cold muscles. If you’re stretching at the end of a workout, this isn’t usually a problem, as your muscles will be well and truly warmed up. If you’re stretching before your workout, however, experts recommend warming up (doing some kind of light exercise that gets your heart beating faster, and blood flowing to your muscles) for at least 5-10 minutes before you begin to stretch.
  Stretching used to be considered the main activity before a workout. That has all changed now. Stretching is still a beneficial activity prior to working out, but only after you have sufficiently warmed up. The reason for this is that stretching cold muscles can directly contribute to pulled and torn muscles. It's also now known that stretching is important after a workout as well.

 There are several effective methods for stretching but some require partners or are best learned through one-on-one instruction. In many cases, the more complicated something is, the less you use it. Therefore, static stretching is often recommended. It is easy to understand and perform. With static stretching, you lengthen the muscle to where there is a mild pull and hold without bouncing. In the past, it has been recommended to hold a static stretch anywhere from 20 seconds. However, recent research indicates that it is more effective to hold a stretch for approximately 10 seconds, release, and then repeat the same stretch two to three times. As the stretch is repeated, the muscle relaxes, and you avoid overstretching, which can lead to injury. If you experience extreme discomfort or the muscle quivers uncontrollably during the stretch, back off a degree or two.

 Never start an aggressive stretching program when you are acutely injured. This could lead to additional damage of the injured area. Allow time for healing. When there is minimal or no pain, start a light and easy stretching regime. Stretching is sometimes part of an injury-recovery program, in which case you should follow the instructions of your sports medicine professional.
Stretching properly may reduce muscle injuries and provides these benefits: an increase in flexibility and joint range of motion ,correct exercise posture relaxed muscles and  better sports coordination
  The purpose of warm-ups includes: keeping muscles supple, increasing range of motion of joints, enhancing flexibility, improving coordination, increasing body temperature and heart rate, increasing blood flow to muscles and preventing injuries.
The right way to stretch is slow and relaxed. Do not bounce. This can actually cause you to pull the muscle you are trying to stretch.
A recent study showed that a group of runners who stretched three times a day, and became more flexible, reduced their risk of lower leg injuries by 12% over runners who did minimal stretching. This is one of the few studies confirming the benefits of stretching.
You should stretch to the point of mild tension. If you overstretch you will also cause damage. Back off if the stretch feels painful.