Often overlooked, stretching is one of the five components of fitness. Stretching can help posture, stress, mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance. Stretches are either dynamic (involve motion) or static (involve no motion). You should use dynamic stretches before a workout to help prevent injuries and prepare the body for work and use static stretches after a workout to reduce post workout stiffness.
Your level of flexibility depends on your ability to bend and contort without pain or risking injury. Flexible joints greatly decrease your risk of injury and help enhance your athletic performance. Make time to stretch!