Should We Stretch To Warm-Up?

Icone04Should passive (static) stretching form part of our pre-activity warm-up or not? Ever since I can remember I’ve had this discussion with colleagues, clients and training partners. People usually have a firm view on the subject and stick to it doggedly.

Over the last few years the evidence base has mounted; static stretching before exercise or sport decreases performance! It decreases strength, speed and power. In addition to that, its effect on injury prevention is still controversial. Does this mean that static stretching has no place in training, not at all, it can be performed at the end of the work-out as part of a cool-down or as a stand-alone session. Static stretching increases flexibility which can improve technique and performance and may decrease injury risk.

Dynamic stretching on the other hand, can be performed as part of the warm-up as it fulfills a lot of a warm-up’s requirements. The active movements help raise the heart rate, increase blood flow to the muscles, increase muscle temperature and pliability, improve coordination and stretch muscles and tendons.

In summary, perform dynamic stretches to warm-up and static stretches to cool-down. Simple!

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