Melanie explores: Dynamic Stretching
I've been researching stretching lately as I am embarking on creating a DVD. When Luke Fuller, a former Fix instructor and now Physiotherapist and Osteopath for the ATP world tour sent through his first published article I was very excited to read that it was on stretching.
His article is based on the sport of tennis, but it is following a trend in the current literature that 'dynamic stretching' can be used with all forms of sport and exercise regardless of your level or ability. The article explores the benefits of this form of stretching over 'static stretching' as warm up prior to full intensity exercise.
Dynamic stretching includes a more active warm up where the joints are taken through their full range of movement slowly, then gradually increasing speed and moving into sports specific movements. For example, moving your shoulder in a full arc (as opposed to holding it in one position), followed by moving the shoulder through the actual motion of a tennis serve. This form of active warm up has been shown in the research to be more effective by increasing the temperature of the muscle and better preparing the body by activating the nerves within the muscles. This was especially noticeable when concerning force and power exercises.
The research still shows that static stretching can be useful after exercise to work on specific areas that may be tight. This is where being aware of your body and the demands of your exercise can help you to discover a warm up and cool down specific for you.
Follow this link to the full article where there are specific exercises for tennis that you may be able to apply to your own sport or exercise. Keep this in mind next time you go for a run, walk, or play basketball, netball or volleyball.
Download the PDF file and find Luke's article (pg 109) entitled
Pre-Competitive Warm-up: the Current Literature Suggests that Dynamic Stretching is Preferential to Static Exercises.