Stretching. It’s something that most individuals are introduced to at a young age, especially those who’ve played sports. One of the most common forms of stretching used during the warm-up is the static stretch. Often, athletes don’t question the reason why they are stretching, they are just told that it’s required. This form of stretching involves holding the stretched muscle in the relaxed position for 10-30 seconds (and sometimes longer). My question is: how important is it to include static stretching in your warm-up? Specifically, when training athletes who will conduct large explosive movements through a full range of motion in their training or sport. Seemingly, it would be more appropriate to implement a warm-up routine that better prepares the athlete for those specific movements that are used during competition/training. This is where I recommend dynamic stretching, conducting movements that allow the joints to functionally pass through the full range of motion (Nadelen, 2012). Dynamic stretching better prepares the body for activity by allowing the muscles to “get warm” in preparation for exercise.
Static stretching is not all bad and it can be used during the warm up on certain occasions, but only after light jogging or other movements that warm the muscles that are intended to be stretched. When Bingul (2014) tested the optimal interval time for peak performance using a dynamic stretching protocol, he found within the study that those individuals in the dynamic stretching routine group showed a 14% peak performance increase within the hamstring complex when compared to the group that did not conduct a stretching routine. Within this same test, it was also found that the static stretching group showed no significant reduction […]
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.