Stretching and warm-up

It never ceases to amaze how warm-up and stretching are equated. Warm-up to stretch, do not stretch to warm-up. Essentially it is counterproductive and a huge waste of time. If you are spending ten minutes a day static stretching in warm-up, that is ten minutes that you are not making them better athletically.There is plenty of research to show that pre exercise stretching does NOT prevent injury. Despite this knowledge you still see Football teams lying on the ground for ten minutes doing static stretching – what a waste. Don’t get me wrong there is a place for active stretching in warm-up. In the later third of the warm-up when the body is well on it’s way to being warmed up. To see where it is placed go to www.gambetta.com/resouces to see the active warm-up sequence. Watch Oregon football warm-up that is the way it should be done, active and dynamic. I have been told that Cal Berkeley Football is now warming up the same way. I have been using an active warm-up with a minimum of static stretching for thirty plus years. I think the results and lack of injuries bear out its efficacy.

That is not to say that flexibility is not important, it certainly is. It is when you work on flexibility. It is separate and distinct training unity. It is best done post practice or after a good warm-up. More on flexibility in another post.


At 9/17/07, 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you post more specifics on Oregon's and CAL's warm ups. Thanks!

At 9/17/07, 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments on static streching. I have tried to implement active stretches after a quality dynamic warmup with our soccer team. The problem lies in the fact that the girls have been told to static stretch since they began to play athletics, which results in them believing that they are not ready to play until they sit and hold a stretch. They are convinced that they will pull a muscle unless they have done static stretching. We may spend 15-20 minutes on a warmup, but they always finish by trying to sneak in some static stretches. I try to convince them with science, but they like to static stretch because it "feels good" and it is a habit. So then, the question for me is should I include some static stretches so that they psychologically feel ready to play? Sometimes that mental aspect is just as important. What are your thoughts???

Katie Munger
Texas Tech University

At 9/18/07, 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think if you read the portion of the book "The Art of Learning" that talks about how to get in your zone I think you will find your answer.

Thanks for that recommendation Vern!

Mark Day


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