Athletes warming up wrong: study

(Medical Xpress) -- Static stretching warm ups are being overused by athletes even though they can be counter-productive, according to Victoria University research.

James Zois from Victoria University’s School of Sport & Exercise Science said too many athletes were using static stretching such as calf, quad and hip flex stretches just before competing even though it has been shown to reduce power.

“It’s an epidemic: I see it at almost every AFL club, tennis match or international soccer event were athletes are stretching on the sidelines just prior to playing,” he said. “People just aren’t getting the message.”

Mr. Zois’ research showed static stretching decreased jumping performance by almost 8 per cent, while a more dynamic warm-up increased participants’ vertical jump by 3 per cent.

Dynamic warm-ups included range of motion activities like high-knee raises, leg swings and run-throughs or change of direction tasks.

Mr. Zois said the study proved that, from a power point of view, static stretching was worse than no warm up at all.

“It’s called a warm-up because its aim is to increase the metabolic processes, heart rate, muscle temperature and oxygen delivery to working muscles,” he said. “If you do anything passive, like static stretching, you actually reverse those processes and so are actually doing the opposite of a warm up.”

With an almost 11 per cent difference between static and dynamic stretching, Mr. Zois said athletes could not afford to ignore the facts.

“Too many still use the counterproductive technique of static stretching during the warm-up”, he said.

He said there was definitely a place for static stretching, particularly for those with chronic injuries or muscle stiffness concerns, but that it should not be a part of a normal athlete’s warm-up regime inside an hour of performance.

Mr. Zois has been working with the Collingwood Football Club to improve warm-up techniques and is currently Tennis Victoria’s strength and conditioning performance manager.

Provided by Victoria University

4.8 /5 (6 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Breathing is secret weapon in sports performance: study

Apr 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A ‘secret weapon’ used by a minority of sportsmen and women and which could make the difference between winning and losing at sport has been revealed by a scientist at the University of Portsmouth.

Why do some athletes choke under pressure?

Oct 21, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Athletes know they should just do their thing on the 18th hole, or during the penalty shootout, or when they’re taking a 3-point shot in the last moments of the game. But when that shot could mean ...

Recommended for you

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

Pot-infused edibles: One toke over the line in Colorado?

5 hours ago

Marijuana shops have sprouted across Denver ever since Colorado legalized the drug for adults in January, but the popularity of pot-infused edibles has surprised authorities, and parents are seeking a ban ahead of Halloween.

US sues Gerber over claims on infant formula

7 hours ago

U.S. government regulators announced Thursday they were suing Gerber, the well-known baby food maker, for claiming that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.