A lot of people never stretch anyway.
So is that essential to stretch or not?
Yes, it is.
Muscles are like elastic bands, and when exercised, they are on their "tense" mode.
So it is vital to remove muscle tension to avoid that muscles rupture, and create an injury, or even pull the bones in the wrong positions.
So when to stretch?
Before or after?
I would say before, after and during exercise.
Yes, during exercise.
After I add tension to any body part, I make sure I remove that tension afterwards.
Stretching also creates this fantastic feeling of relaxation that we all need.
Try it for yourself!
This topic is so confusing for most people.