Share This Item:
    Current Topics

To stretch or not to stretch

Comments

The assigned reading for assignment number two (To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance) is a review article.  A review article is not to be confused with a peer reviewed research... more »The assigned reading for assignment number two (To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance) is a review article.  A review article is not to be confused with a peer reviewed research article.  A research article is when scientists and other scholars want to make the results of their work public; they will attempt to have their work published in a scholarly journal.  They usually include an abstract, description of research, results, and the significance of their results.  Then the article will be review by peer scientist to see if the research falls into the parameters that represent the best scholarship currently available. If the research meets the standard, then it will have the possibility of being published in a scientific journal.  On the other hand, a review article is a review of peer review research articles.  The review articles are an attempt by one or more writers to sum up the current state of the research on a particular topic.  Ideally, the writer searches for “everything” relevant to the topic, and then sorts it all out into a coherent view of the most accurate information as it currently stands.  Review articles are extremely rich in information for a given topic.  After reading a research review article, the individual should be able to have a solid grasp on the given topic; thus, obtaining the basic idea of the topic.   |  The two main areas of concentration of the article are the role of stretching on performance and injury prevention.  Stretching prior to physical performance is the norm and has been studied extensively.  The main goal of stretching before sports performance is to increase the range of motion and decrease the resistance to motion of multiple joints.  The effects of stretching can be categorized into two categories: viscoelastic and neural effects.  Viscoelastic effects is after an acute stretching period stress relaxation, creep, and hysteresis could be used as the description.  Neural effects of stretching is that when passive stretches are applied there is limited activity in response to the stretch (regarding contractile and motor neuron activity).    | It has been recorded in numerous studies that undergoing multiple stretches to relaxed muscles will lead to an acute loss of strength and maximal force generation after that bout of stretching.  This phenomenon is referred to as stretch-induced strength loss.  At this time, the specific causes for this type of stretch induced loss in strength is not clear, but evidence suggest that it is due to neural effects.  However, stretch-induced strength loss is dependent on the stretching technique.  Additionally, stretch-induced strength loss appears to be less apparent when stretching is combined with other warm-up activities such as dynamic movements and practice drills.  That is why it is common to see professional athletes preform their static stretching followed by calisthenics exercise and practice-play drills.   | As I stated above, the main goal of stretching before sports performance is to increase the range of motion and decrease the resistance to motion of multiple joints.  This does not only apply to performance, but also injury avoidance.  Stretching is beneficial for reducing muscle strains.  However, optimal time, intensity, and frequency must be observed to reap the benefits.  One theory introduced by the author states stretching could reduce muscle strains is that stretching makes the muscle-tendon more compliant. Therefore, regarding time and intensity, studies have found that four 90 second static stretches progressively decreased passive resistance to stretch by 18-19% which lasted for 60 minutes. Thusly, if the adequate time is not designated towards a static stretch then the benefits could not potentially be gained.    | In summary, the article tells us that more experiments need to be conducted to provide the most accurate recommendations.  However, the article also tells us that it is clear that an acute stretch induced strength loss will but can be less apparent when combined with other warm-up drills.  Also, the article tells us that optimal stretching prescription may reduce the risk of muscle strains.  However, more studies need to be performed in this topic area.   | References | Delavier, F., & Gundill, M. (2009). The Strength Training Anatomy Workout. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. | McHugh MP, Consgrave CH. To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 2010: 20: 169–181. 02-24-2015 4:16pm

Comment by Michael Wells

I can honestly say that this article changed the way that I look at stretching.  It was interesting to read that static stretching prior to an athletic event can actually be detrimental to performance.  I think many people in... more »I can honestly say that this article changed the way that I look at stretching.  It was interesting to read that static stretching prior to an athletic event can actually be detrimental to performance.  I think many people in both sports and fitness are uneducated on proper stretching techniques and this is an area that trainers should probably put a little more focus on. 03-29-2015 3:15pm

Comment by Merlin Pepple

Tags:

    Following This Shelf: