Watch a group of elite runners warming up and you won’t see any of them bending over trying to reach their toes. Instead, you’ll see athletes moving their bodies to improve their range of motion, increase flexibility, and guard against injury. “Stretching has progressed to a more functional, dynamic method.”
Is this the right way to go? The literature is now supporting dynamic stretching as opposed to static stretching. Various studies have demonstrated that static stretching (slow stretch by holding an isolated muscle in a stretched position) offers no improvement in performance or reduction of injury. We are now finding that dynamic or bouncing activities can be more beneficial in warming up the musculature to improve running efficiency as well as reduce injury. Most medical professionals are now only advocating static stretching for patients who have an injury in efforts to gradually control the amount of stress on the muscle.
Below you can watch track star Michelle Jenneke show off her dance moves as she warms up for a 1st place finish in the 100M hurdles. Click to watch warm up video
So maybe there is motivation behind learning the new moves from PSY’s viral you tube sensation hit Gangnam Style!!
Aguilar AJ, DiStefano LJ, Brown CN, Herman DC, Guskiewicz KM, Padua DA. A dynamic warm-up model increases quadriceps strength and hamstring flexibility. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Apr;26(4):1130-41.
Carvalho FL, Carvalho MC, Simão R, Gomes TM, Costa PB, Neto LB, Carvalho RL, Dantas EH. Acute Effects of a Warm-Up Including Active, Passive, and Dynamic Stretching on Vertical Jump Performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Sep;26(9):2447-2452.
Turki O, Chaouachi A, Behm DG, Chtara H, Chtara M, Bishop D, Chamari K, Amri M. The effect of warm-ups incorporating different volumes of dynamic stretching on 10- and 20-m sprint performance in highly trained male athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jan;26(1):63-72.
Dr. Campitelli is a podiatrist in Akron, OH specializing in foot and ankle surgery with an interest and enthusiasm for running as well as helping runners with injuries. For the past several years he has been treating running injuries in patients by fixing their form and transitioning them to minimalist shoes. Having treated runners with all types of injuries through conservative measures with orthotics and shoe gear changes to reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, Dr. Campitelli has brought what works best and is most current to his practice as well as the Akron and Cleveland running communities.