Game Or Sport Rules Help Keep Participants From Getting Injured latest 2023

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The Truth About Stretching

A three-year stretching study is cited in many articles today, and the conclusions reached by some authors may be harmful to the muscles, ligaments and joints of your athletes.

Is pre-workout stretching harmful?

Stretching before sports training and exercises to improve general fitness are considered a waste of time, unnecessary and even harmful. It’s not true. In fact, there is a recent study that evaluates all of the research on stretching, and the study concludes:

Due to the paucity (small number), heterogeneity (dissimilar study subjects), and poor quality of available studies, no firm conclusions can be drawn about the value of stretching in reducing the risk of injury related to exercise (The effectiveness of stretching for the prevention of exercise-related injuries: a systematic review of the literature, 2003, Weldon).

Essentially, the researchers say there are not enough quality studies to draw conclusions on this issue.

Study in question

The study that is generating all the hype was carried out by the Kapooka Health Centre, New South Wales, Australia on 1,538 army recruits. This is an honorable study designed to show the occurrence of lower extremity injuries on a group of young army recruits. Despite what you may have heard about pre-workout stretching, here’s what the researchers reported:

A typical muscle-stretching protocol performed during pre-exercise warm-ups does not produce clinically significant reductions in the risk of exercise-related injury in Army recruits. Physical fitness may be an important and modifiable risk factor (A randomized trial of pre-exercise stretching for the prevention of lower extremity injuries, 2000, Pope).

The statement “Fitness can be an important and modifiable risk factor” is very important. It simply means that the age, weight, and conditioning of the study subjects may be an important factor in preventing or facilitating injury sustained in this study.

Three years after the Kapooka study, another study involving military recruits was conducted and the researchers of this study show that pre-workout static stretching can PREVENT muscle injury but not joint or bone injury. Researchers report that “static stretching decreased the incidence of muscle injury but did not prevent bone or joint injury” (Effect of Static Stretching on Injury Prevention in Military Recruits, 2003, Amako).

Appropriate conclusions

Based on how some have written about this study, it’s normal to run a 100-meter sprint at full speed without stretching first. Now, that may be possible for a small number of skinny young army recruits. However, does anyone believe that a powerful, muscular athlete or middle-aged or older adult can get out there and run a sprint – cold without a warm-up – without an increased risk of injury? Don’t think so…

Use common sense

…and all research

Think about it; if a young army recruit who is unfit and untrained performs high-intensity exercises, they may injure themselves, be pre-stretched or not. And that’s why researchers evaluating all stretching research conclude, “No definitive conclusions can be drawn…”

In short, there needs to be a body of research based on age, weight, conditioning, and the study needs to be done functionally for the specific sport and type of exercise before any conclusions that change the lives are drawn.

The truth about stretching

New research shows that stretching can help prevent stress fracture injuries that plague distance runners. The researchers conclude,

Prevention of stress fractures is most effective by slowly increasing the level of exercise, warming up and stretching adequately before exercise, and using padded insoles and appropriate footwear” (Common Stress fractures, 2003, Sanderlin).

Stretching offers many benefits. Researchers show that prolonged stretching (in the form of yoga) with moderate aerobic exercise and diet control will lower cholesterol and significantly reverse hardening of the arteries (20% reduction) in adults with coronary heart disease proven atherosclerosis.

After one year in a yoga program, participants lost weight, lowered their cholesterol and improved their exercise capacity (Retardation of coronary atherosclerosis with yoga lifestyle intervention, 2000, Manchanda).

Stretching offers many benefits, but there is a problem regarding the type of stretching and the timing of stretching before sports competitions.

Use dynamic stretching before games and key training sessions

There are two main types of stretching, static (holding a stretching exercise in a position without movement) and dynamic stretching, i.e. moving while stretching (arm swings, rotations of the knees, neck circles).

Researchers show that athletes should not perform prolonged static stretching before the big game or a key training session because it slows muscle activation for about an hour afterwards, (Reduced strength after passive flexor stretching human plantars, 2000, Fowles). Using dynamic stretching is a smart strategy before competition.

Static stretching builds flexibility and should be done regularly, but not right before a big game or key training session.

Warming up before a high intensity ballistic sporting event is an absolute rule – never to be broken, and stretching can be combined (multitasked) as part of the warm up. The purpose of warming up is to get the blood flowing and increase body temperature (one degree) before athletic competitions and high intensity workouts. It is desirable that the athlete’s muscles, ligaments and joints experience the functional range of motion required for the sport during the warm-up.

Do static stretches with 30 second stretches

away from practice

Flexibility gains depend on the “duration” of the stretch-hold position, and researchers show that the best “stretch-hold position” (for time spent) to increase flexibility is 30 seconds (l Effect of Static Stretching Time on Hamstring Flexibility, 1994, Bandy). “Best” means optimum results for the time spent. You can get positive results with 2 minute stretches, but 30 seconds gives equal results.

This type of stretching is positive for athletes and adults of all ages. Researchers show in a study that longer stretching positions are very beneficial for adults over 65,

Longer hold times during hamstring stretching resulted in a higher rate of range of motion (ROM) gains and a more sustained increase in range of motion in older subjects (the effect duration of stretching the hamstring muscle group to increase range of motion in people aged 65 or older, 2001, Feland).

Adults ages 21 to 45 with tight hamstrings also get the best results from static stretches with 30-second stretch positions. Researchers report that static stretching is twice as effective as dynamic range of motion (DROM) for this group of non-competitive athletes. Researchers report,

The results of this study suggest that although static stretching and DROM (dynamic stretching) increase hamstring flexibility, a 30-second static stretch was more effective than the newer technique, DROM, in improving hamstring flexibility. flexibility (the effect of static stretching and dynamic range of motion training on hamstring muscle flexibility, 2001, Bandy).

Keep in mind that there are important lessons in these studies, but the studies apply to a specific age group (over 65 and 21-45) and specific physical condition (hamstring tight legs). If we apply the results of a study with these variables to young athletes, we may be wrong.

While it is reasonable to conclude (as I did for training purposes) that static stretching away from training is an effective strategy for athletes with tight hamstrings, this study does not prove specifically this point. It is clearly a mistake to take the conclusions of a study and create an absolute fact. Consider all of the research on a topic before making a life-changing training decision.

Coming home on stretches

1. Use dynamic stretching and static stretching at the right time in the training plan.

2. Dynamic stretches (arm swings, hip rotations, knee rotations) will aid the pre-competition and pre-training warm-up process by increasing joint flexion and increasing body temperature. This method is preferred before athletic competition.

3. Static stretches can be used as part of a workout warm-up. However, static stretching will slow athletes down slightly for an hour afterward, so review training goals. At the start of the season, static stretching before training can be a good strategy.

The best way to improve overall flexibility is static stretching with 30-second stretches performed away from events requiring peak performance. Personally, I recommend athletes attending my speed camp use a 10-minute static stretching routine targeting the hamstrings, Achilles tendon, hip flexors, and quadriceps four days a week.

************************************************** **** ****************

Phil Campbell. MS, MA, FACHE is the author of

Ready, set, go ! Fitness Synergy

http://www.readysetgofitness.com

************************************************** **** ****************

National Institutes of Health Research cited:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12909434&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14596439

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10694106&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11273502&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10956367&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8066111&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12834132

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11319936

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9549713

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