In my previous post I wrote to you about the controversial recovery technique, the Ice Bath. Now I’m taking you right back to discuss a pre exercise routine or a warm up. In simple a warm up prepares the body’s musculoskeletal system for the particular physical activity you want it to undertake. The other prime focus of a warm up is to prevent injury to the musculoskeletal system. There are endless examples of warm up techniques relevant to various different physical activity. The recommended warm up technique lies in the potential components of the physical activity and what the body is asked to do. Generally all aspects of a warm up will fit into either the static or dynamic categories of stretching. The modern day debate in warm up techniques is between the efficiency of these two approaches when warming up the body.
What is the difference between static and dynamic stretching?
Sourced from: Vibe Rehabilitation Blog (2013).
Static stretching involves stationary elongation of muscle groups when the body is at rest. Static stretching typically is undertaken for a duration of around 30 seconds.This technique has been pronoun for individual and team sports involving moderate -vigorous intensity physical activity.
Dynamic stretching involves actively stretching the muscle groups using an on the move approach. The main difference is the body is gaining momentum when using dynamic stretching techniques. This technique has been introduced more recently and has caught on as a very effective way to warm the body up.
Which technique is most effective? and Why?
In recent times dynamic stretching has become the preferred warm up technique. This is due to the proposed detrimental effects of static stretching when warming up. In “Stretching: The truth” by Gretchen Reynolds published by the New York Times, Reynolds discussed how Science has moved on from the method of static stretching. Reynolds claims that static stretching can reduce strength as the muscles can stiffen when being stretched without adequate blood flow. Malachy Machugh also claims that there is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching. Reynolds believes that a warm up should simply warm up the body and increase range of movement in the musculoskeletal system. When comparing the two techniques Malachy Machugh claims that muscles in motion during dynamic exercise don’t experience the inhibitory response but instead experience what is called an excitatory message to perform.
After consideration into the detrimental effects of static stretching I certainly restructured my knowledge and training towards a dynamic approach. I still utilise static stretching in combination with my dynamic stretching routine, although I’m not totally convinced that it is having a beneficial effect on my body. You will still see both individuals and teams utilising both techniques. In saying that would you still make use of static based stretching when warming up for your chosen physical activity? Or do you believe it is a method we should leave in the past?
Images and Websites: