I don't know about you, but I haven't always been into the post-workout stretch. I used to run and lift and step-aerobicize myself to pieces and never took the time to stretch myself out . . . and then I got older, and well, I need to work out those kinks if I want to maintain my flexibility.
Turns out, though, that there's a good reason for all of us to get bendy: A study reported in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that volunteers following a three-day-per-week strength-training regimen who added two stretching sessions to their routines nearly tripled their muscle strength after 8 weeks!
What gives? Both stretching and lifting create tiny tears in your muscles - and as your body repairs them, the tissue becomes stronger. Try adding 10 minutes of stretching to your post-workout routine to maintain flexibility and increase your buff!