Warm up is the process of increasing muscle temperature, not stretching.
For an review of warm ups see: Warm Up I, David Bishop, Sports Med 2003; 33
(6): 439-454 and Warm Up II in the next issue.
The 'justifications' you hear for dynamic stretching are the usual
psuedo-science babble (I can't formulate a thoery in my head as to why it
would be beneficial, unlike static stretching which theoretically could
because of viscosity). It appears to have the same MVC inhibiting problems
as static stretching and therefore should also be avoided.
I would argue that there isn't a lack of evidence - there's quite a bit (9
references which is a lot in sport science). It just so happens that the
evidence is against its use.
With regards to why there is a descrepency between the evidence base and
practice - welcome to the world of sport and 'sport science'. Both are myth
based cultures. Here's some other myths - 'gycolysis produces lactic acid',
'you can learn general skills (such as balance)'.
Slowly but surely more and more are catching onto the reality of stertch
induced decrements in performance. However, it is a long road.
Unfortunately being a proper sport scientist is a thankless task.
----- Original Message -----
Thankyou for your reply Joe.
Your review makes interesting reading. However, I would like you to clarify
When discussing the thixotrophic property of muscle, you advocate the use of
a 'sport-specific warm up'. What exactly would this entail? One of the
justifications for dynamic exercise warm up that has been repeated to me
several times is that it is supposedly more specific to the movements
demanded by the sport (i'm talking hockey here, but I'm sure the theory
would apply universally) than static stretching. But is it specific enough
to be of benefit, and would you classify the dynamic stretching element of a
warm up as being 'sport specific'?
What I dont understand is that given there is a lack of evidence generally,
and the consensus of the evidence base in existance is that stretching has
little to offer the pre-game warm up (if not potentially exerting a negative
effect), why is stretching (static and/or dynamic) recommended so
dogmatically and performed by athletes at every level of competition? Any
>From: Joe Wright <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: To support research in sports medicine <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Warm up exercises
>Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 13:27:34 +0100
>See my review on the biomechanics wiki:
>Basically, everyone should avoid both types of stretching before
>Btw: Is anyone left on this list?
>----- Original Message -----
>I have heard a lot from coaching courses and workshops about the benefits
>of 'dynamic' stretching warm up in contrast to more traditional 'static'
>stretches, however no one has ever presented to me any particularly
>convincing rationale for this popular trend (let alone evidence).
>Can anyone provide me with any scientific insight into the benefits and/or
>risks associated with these two kinds of stretching techniques, and why
>dynamic stretches may be more advantageous than static?
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