This is an excerpt from Delavier's Stretching Anatomy by Frederic Delavier,Jean-Pierre Clemenceau & Michael Gundill.
Stretching has Five Benefits for Athletes
MAINTAIN OR INCREASE RANGE OF MOTION
Repetitive athletic movements can reduce your range of motion by tightening the muscles and tendons. A certain tension is required, especially in strength sports, but too much tension and a decreased range of motion can ultimately lead to injury and reduced quality of performance. Stretching regularly can prevent this problem. In certain sports and activities, like swimming or gymnastics, stretching must be done regularly to increase the range of motion in a joint when that range corresponds with increased performance.
INCREASE MUSCLE TONE
Stretching is a powerful signal to strength-en muscles. Using the muscle's strength in passive resistance, stretching accel-erates the speed at which the proteins that make up the muscle fibers are synthesized. Your body gains muscle tone, strength, and resilience this way.
WARM UP BEFORE A WORKOUT
Stretching warms up the muscles, tendons, and joints, which prepares the body for physical exertion.
Thanks to its euphoric and oxygenating effects, stretching minimizes stress that can tighten muscles (such as before a competition).
RELAX, RECUPERATE, AND PREVENT INJURIES
The majority of muscular efforts com-press various joints as well as the spine. Stretching decompresses your back as well as your joints. This prevents injuries while accelerating recovery of the joints, tendons, and muscles.
Read more about Delavier's Stretching Anatomy by Frederic Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clemenceau, Michael Gundill.