I always do some static stretching before my workout for my warm up. I’ve heard some people say that’s bad for you, though. What’s the best way to warm up?
No, stretching doesn’t really decrease risk for injury and actually may lead to performance decrements. Instead, perform a dynamic warmup that includes plyometrics and running. This warmup should last about 10-minutes and should produce a light sweat – this means your muscle tissue temperature has increased and your muscles are ready to hit some serious weights. If improving flexibility is a goal of yours, keep stretching to after your workout. Studies have also shown that utilizing full ranges of motion in compound strength training movements improve flexibility just as much as static stretching does.
Bishop, D. (2003). Warm up I: Potential Mechanisms and the Effects of Passive Warm Up on Exercise Performance. Sports Medicine, 33(6), 439-454.
Morton, S. K., Whitehead, J. R., Brinkert, R. H., & Caine, D. J. (2011). Resistance training vs. static stretching: effects on flexibility and strength. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(12), 3391-3398.