When are Dynamic Movement & Static Stretching Appropriate?Shawn Slevin
You bet stretching is important…at any age and before any level of exercise. But did you know there were two distinct types of stretching? Thanks Coach Paul Barry for laying it out for us.
Clinical studies have found that static stretching prior to athletic activity can negatively impact performance & can create ongoing performance deficits. A clear link has also been found that static stretching prior to athletic activity can be a precursor to later injuries. Static stretching does have beneficial aspects, but they are derived post training or athletic activity. Studies in the field around Static Stretching prior to sporting activity have consistently shown the negative impact Static Stretching has on performance results. The more common findings are:
- Impact on balance • Decrease in strength • Reduction in power & explosiveness • Decreased reaction time
The primary function of Dynamic Movements is to prepare our body to be primed for Performance by:
- Increasing muscle temperature. Our optimal temperature at rest is 37 – 37.5 C. Optimal performance for athletic pursuits requires maintaining blood & muscles in the 39.5 C to 40 C range.
- Regulating the Autonomous Nervous System Function via Activation of our Sympathetic Nervous System associated to our fight or flight response. This state effectively delivers optimal athletic performance.
- Improves Standing Vertical Jump & Rate of Force Development (RFD) in testing between Static & Dynamic. Higher RFD produces more power, explosiveness of mass, higher driving force & faster acceleration.
- Dynamic Movements can be incorporated into the Prehab of any athlete. Prehab’s core focus is around prevention & reducing of any injury or reinjury risk to muscles, tendons, ligaments & joints. In general Prehab training’s emphasis targets muscle development, agility of joints, improved range of motion of levers & enhanced stability of muscles & ligaments that comprise our joints.
Very few sports require an excessive range of motion of our levers, joints & ligaments. This is the case for all the competitive strokes in swimming. With this knowledge & awareness there is no advantage to be gained or any necessary reason to stretch beyond your normal physiological means.
Using Static Stretching to improve Mobility
With regular swimming as part of squad training, which can include competing at carnivals, there is a place for Static Stretching within your daily & weekly training as part of enhancing performance & for the reasons already mentioned around Prehab. However, the focus should be doing as much Static Stretching after training or competing. At competitions within many Sport’s it can be a long day or day’s & feeling tightness or imbalance in muscles, joints etc following Warm Up, following a Race & Warm Down’s is a very common occurrence. On those occasions it’s a good time to do as much Static or Dynamic Stretching as you need. You can also incorporate sports tension release methods such as foam rolling or using a trigger ball on trigger points if you know them. Otherwise simply place the trigger ball or foam roller where it feels uncomfortable, sore, pain or tightness in a muscle.
- Static Stretching prior to athletic activity can & does have a negative impact on performance.
- Static Stretching prior to any athletic activity can be a precursor to later injuries.
- Static Stretching is important as an adjunct to sporting activity.
- Static Stretching is very beneficial in enhancing Mobility.
- Static Stretching is a fantastic tool to use
- There are no benefits from stretching beyond normal physiological limits for most sporting activities.
- Dynamic movements are used to prepare & prime the body for optimal athletic performance.
- Dynamic Movements activate the Sympathetic Nervous System to provide optimal athletic performance.
- Dynamic Movements have outperformed Static Stretching in Studies relevant to athletic performance.
- Dynamic Movements are a fantastic addition to any athletes Prehab routine.
Our Guest Blogger is Paul Barry from Brisbane, Australia. Paul works within the field of High-Performance Sports Coaching & Consulting. He is qualified & has vast experience in diverse fields within this industry. They include Swimming, Strength & Conditioning, Advanced Nutrition, Sports Supplementation, Anatomy & Physiology, The Psychology & Science of Winning and various Body Work modalities.
He has Coached & Consulted in Multiple Sports, but his major focus has been Swimming which he has a strong passion for. His experience range is Junior Competitive through to International Athletes from various Countries who were all members of their National Teams.
Paul is highly experienced in creating Annual Training Plans broken down to Macro, Meso & Micro Cycles. With his high-level athletes, he uses his knowledge to link together all elements of any Training Phase, so input from all training aspects relate directly & are in harmony to the current Phase Goal e.g. Training Phase, Nutrition, Gym, Dry-Land, Core Development etc.
Paul can be contacted either by Email or send him a message via his LinkedIn Profile.