Dynamic Warm-up vs. Static StretchingHistorically, many people have performed some sort of slow warm up (perhaps a lazy jog around the perimeter of a field) then “circled up” and gone through some useless static stretches. There is no current research that supports the benefits of stretching*. Especially for sport performance, it’s counterproductive. Here is what the research shows:
- Static stretching can compromise muscle performance
- …is shown to lead to a decrease in force production, power performance, running speed, reaction and movement time, and strength endurance
Still feel like stretching? What you should do instead is perform a general movement warm-up that progresses into similar movements used during an athlete’s sport. The real goal of a warm-up is to increase body temperature and heart rate, and stimulate the nervous system to fire efficiently.
*There are some exceptions to this; for instance, if you’re a gymnast where range of motion is ideal, static stretching prior to activity may have performance benefits.
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