Impact of Static Stretching on Performance: Difference between revisions


 

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=== Impact of Stretching on Muscle performance ===

=== Impact of Stretching on Muscle performance ===

Traditionally, static stretching exercises were advocated to be performed before exercise sessions or sports events as a warm up, in order to improve muscle performance and minimize risk of injury. However, recent reviews have found that stretching immediately prior to exercise does not prevent injury and can lead to detrimental effect on muscle performance. Therefore performing static stretching before the main exercise session or main sport events can lead to decrease in performance in these subsequent events.<ref name=”:1″>I Shrier . [https://insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=15377965 Does Stretching Improve Performance?: A Systematic and Critical Review of the Literature.] Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine:2004 Sep :14(5) : 267-273.</ref><ref name=”:2″>Rubini EC , Costa AL , Gomes PS .[https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165%2F00007256-200737030-00003 The Effects of Stretching on Strength Performance .] Sports Medicine. <time>March 2007 :</time>37(3): 213-24 ·</ref>

Traditionally, static stretching exercises were advocated to be performed before exercise sessions or sports events as a warm up, in order to improve muscle performance and minimize risk of injury. However, recent reviews have found that stretching immediately prior to exercise does not prevent injury and can lead to detrimental effect on muscle performance. Therefore performing static stretching before the main exercise session or main sport events can lead to decrease in performance in these subsequent events.<ref name=”:1″>I Shrier . [https://insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=15377965 Does Stretching Improve Performance?: A Systematic and Critical Review of the Literature.] Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine:2004 Sep :14(5) : 267-273.</ref><ref name=”:2″>Rubini EC , Costa AL , Gomes PS .[https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165%2F00007256-200737030-00003 The Effects of Stretching on Strength Performance .] Sports Medicine. <time>March 2007 :</time>37(3): 213-24 ·</ref>

To understand how static stretching can lead to decline muscle performance we have to understand the acute effect of static stretching and the effect of regular stretching.

To understand how static stretching can lead to decline muscle performance we have to understand the acute effect of static stretching and the effect of regular stretching.

A woman doing static stretching

Static stretching is a type of stretching exercises in which muscle is held in the same elongated position without movement. Static stretching has a relaxation and elongation effect on muscle which increases range of motion (ROM), decreases musculotendinous stiffness and also reduce risk of acute muscle strain injuries.[1][2] It is a slow, controlled movement with emphasis on postural awareness and body alignment.

Impact of Stretching on Muscle performance[edit | edit source]

Traditionally, static stretching exercises were advocated to be performed before exercise sessions or sports events as a warm up, in order to improve muscle performance and minimize risk of injury. However, recent reviews have found that stretching immediately prior to exercise does not prevent injury and can lead to detrimental effect on muscle performance. Therefore performing static stretching before the main exercise session or main sport events can lead to decrease in performance in these subsequent events.[3][4]

However, new studies suggest that there is strong evidence suggesting static stretches of below 60 seconds cause only trivial negative effects on subsequent strength and power performances[5]. Therefore, coaches are advised to consider short-duration StS as an important warm-up component in recreational sports due to its potentially positive effect on flexibility and injury prevention. Minimal performance differences can have a major impact on athletes’ success in competition, and static stretching should be carefully considered for this population.

To understand how static stretching can lead to decline muscle performance we have to understand the acute effect of static stretching and the effect of regular stretching.

Acute Effects of Static Stretching on Muscle:[edit | edit source]

  • Decreases the visco-elastic behavior of muscle and tendon only on the short term with no long term effect .[3]
  • Decreases motor neuron excitability through inhibitory effect from the Golgi Tendon organ and by activation of Renshaw recurrent loop (recurrent inhibition).[1]
  • Decreases the activity of motor unit.[4]
  • Decreases the activity of muscle spindles ,which results in decreasing the activity of stretch reflex. [4][1]
  • Decreases in sensitivity of nociceptors and joint receptors which are fundamental mechanisms for the protection of structures involved in motion.[4]
  • Facilitates types III and IV joint receptors sending inhibitory drive to the α motoneuron pool.[4]

Collectively all these acute changes in the muscle lead to decrease in force production, performance and an increase in the risk of injury.

Effect of Regular Static Stretching on Muscle:[edit | edit source]

Regular static stretching exercise shown that it improves force and performance in activities. Its underlying mechanism is that regular stretching induces muscle hypertrophy. It is shown that if stretching a muscle group for 30 to 60 s/d over months results in hypertrophy[3].

The evidence shows that performing static stretching exercises before sports activities lead to decreased performance and increase the risk of injury, while on the other hand, performing regular stretching exercises lead to improved force production and performance in all activities[3]

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