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Gangnam Style: How dancing or getting your “groove on” can be an ideal pre-run “warm-up” as opposed to stretching.

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.

Michelle Jenneke dancing for warm-up
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!!

Click to watch PSY’s Gangnan Style video

References:
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.

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