Article

Stretching and injury prevention: an obscure relationship.

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium.
Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.32). 02/2004; 34(7):443-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is generally accepted that increasing the flexibility of a muscle-tendon unit promotes better performances and decreases the number of injuries. Stretching exercises are regularly included in warm-up and cooling-down exercises; however, contradictory findings have been reported in the literature. Several authors have suggested that stretching has a beneficial effect on injury prevention. In contrast, clinical evidence suggesting that stretching before exercise does not prevent injuries has also been reported. Apparently, no scientifically based prescription for stretching exercises exists and no conclusive statements can be made about the relationship of stretching and athletic injuries. Stretching recommendations are clouded by misconceptions and conflicting research reports. We believe that part of these contradictions can be explained by considering the type of sports activity in which an individual is participating. Sports involving bouncing and jumping activities with a high intensity of stretch-shortening cycles (SSCs) [e.g. soccer and football] require a muscle-tendon unit that is compliant enough to store and release the high amount of elastic energy that benefits performance in such sports. If the participants of these sports have an insufficient compliant muscle-tendon unit, the demands in energy absorption and release may rapidly exceed the capacity of the muscle-tendon unit. This may lead to an increased risk for injury of this structure. Consequently, the rationale for injury prevention in these sports is to increase the compliance of the muscle-tendon unit. Recent studies have shown that stretching programmes can significantly influence the viscosity of the tendon and make it significantly more compliant, and when a sport demands SSCs of high intensity, stretching may be important for injury prevention. This conjecture is in agreement with the available scientific clinical evidence from these types of sports activities. In contrast, when the type of sports activity contains low-intensity, or limited SSCs (e.g. jogging, cycling and swimming) there is no need for a very compliant muscle-tendon unit since most of its power generation is a consequence of active (contractile) muscle work that needs to be directly transferred (by the tendon) to the articular system to generate motion. Therefore, stretching (and thus making the tendon more compliant) may not be advantageous. This conjecture is supported by the literature, where strong evidence exists that stretching has no beneficial effect on injury prevention in these sports. If this point of view is used when examining research findings concerning stretching and injuries, the reasons for the contrasting findings in the literature are in many instances resolved.

6 Followers
 · 
593 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective :To investigating the effect of different Warm-up Protocols on young Soccer Players' Explosive Power. Methods: Twenty male soccer players (17.4 0.685 years) volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were randomly selected, and in order to remove the effects of transmission and to observe the sequence of warm-up methods, they were cross-matched randomly e.g. 20 players in four categories; that is, 5 players in each category. The participants in each category experienced the 4 warm-up ways in four consecutive so that at the end 20 players performed each method of warm-up. Warm-up methods: 1. Static warm-up; 2. Dynamic warm-up plus 2 min active rest; 3. Dynamic warm-up plus 5 min passive rest and finally Dynamic warm-up plus 15 min passive rest. Participants in each category performed different warm-up methods which had been designed based on scientific and research-based sources in 48 hours intervals After performing each warm-up method, they were given a Long Jump. Results: Based on the results of analysis of variance between the effect of different warm-up methods on E-up plus Discussion: The results of this study are in line with those of Roger (2008) and Faigenbaum et al (2006) who indicated in their studies that Dynamic or mixed method of warm-up are more effective than static ones. Conclusion: Therefore, with regard to the results of the study presented here and also the nature of football enjoying explosive power than the air blows, it is recommended that these types of protocols during warm-up program be employed. 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd
    wces2012; 01/2012
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Body building is one of the popular types of recreational physical activities worldwide. However, body builders often choose a one-way training program to induce hypertrophy while disregarding cardiovascular exercises that are important for increasing performance and maintaining a healthy life. This study aimed to assess the physical finess levels of recreational body builders in accordance with the guidelines of the American College of Sports and Medicine (ACSM). Twenty-two male athletes (aged 19–42 years) participated in this study (height: 176.9 ± 5.78 cm, weight: 80.81±6.44 kg, body building experience: 3 years). The maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was measured using the Queen’s College step test and flxibility was assessed with the stand and reach test. The back and leg strengths of the participants were determined using an isometric dynamometer. Skinfolds were measured with a calipers and the Durnin and Womersley formula was used to measure the body fat percentage. Demographic features and data pertaining to the training schedules were obtained from a data collection form which was prepared by the researchers. The participants showed the following mean scores for the parameters assessed: body mass index (BMI): 25.82 ± 1.7 kg/m2; VO2max: 51.07 ± 8.02 ml/kg/min; stand and reach test score: 11.48 ± 6.12 cm; leg strength: 123.59 ± 29.49 kg; back strength: 124.09 ± 26.40 kg; right hand grip strength: 53.83 ± 7.82 kg; and body fat percentage: 13.32 % ± 2.80 %. According to the ACSM norms, the participants had normal BMI, VO2max, and body fat percentage, but low flxibility and strength. It is therefore recommended that recreational bodybuilders add flxibility and maximal strength training to their routine training schedule.
  • Source
    Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte 03/2011; 6(16):27-36. DOI:10.12800/ccd.v6i16.31

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
397 Downloads
Available from
May 21, 2014