To stretch or not to stretch?
There is a lot of different options regarding stretching, hopefully this will help answer some of your questions.
How it works
As wikipedia suggests, stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Notably, the slower a stretch the more pliable the muscle becomes.