Negative effect of static stretching restored when combined with a sport specific warm-up component

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the decline in performance normally associated with static stretching pervades when the static stretching is conducted prior to a sport specific warm-up. Thirteen netball players completed two experimental warm-up conditions. Day 1 warm-up involved a submaximal run followed by 15 min of static stretching and a netball specific skill warm-up. Day 2 followed the same design; however, the static stretching was replaced with a 15 min dynamic warm-up routine to allow for a direct comparison between the static stretching and dynamic warm-up effects. Participants performed a countermovement vertical jump and 20 m sprint after the first warm-up intervention (static or dynamic) and also after the netball specific skill warm-up. The static stretching condition resulted in significantly worse performance than the dynamic warm-up in vertical jump height and 20 m sprint time. However, no significant differences in either performance variable were evident when the skill-based warm-up was preceded by static stretching or a dynamic warm-up routine.

This suggests that the practice of a subsequent high-intensity skill based warm-up restored the differences between the two warm-up interventions. Hence, if static stretching is to be included in the warm-up period, it is recommended that a period of high-intensity sport-specific skills based activity is included prior to the on-court/field performance.

Kristie-Lee Taylor, Jeremy M. Sheppard, Hamilton Lee and Norma Plummer. Negative effect of static stretching restored when combined with a sport specific warm-up component. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Volume 12, Issue 6, November 2009, Pages 657-661

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