One of the recent debates is over static stretching prior to competing to achieve maximum performance.
After reviewing several articles these are my recommendations for STRETCHING for DAY of COMPETITION:
- Warm up with gentle jog or stationary bike for 10 minutes
- Perform static stretching one hour prior to competition and %25 to %50 of max discomfort.
- Under one hour prior to competition start “dynamic stretching” or active warm up involving movements that simulate movements required for your sport. Some research has shown decreases in athletes jumping or sprint performance in competing in less than 2 hours after maximum static stretching.
- Increase speed of movements from slow to fast progress to speed of movements required for your sport for your active warm up and dynamic stretching. On non-competition days you may perform maximum %75 to %100 discomfort end range static stretching to achieve or maintain range of motion that is required for your sport. After the competition finish with static stretching which has been to reduce chance of injury and can be performed with the advantage of a proper warm up.
To limit the adverse aspects of static stretching I feel the key is a a break of 60 to 120 minutes prior to competition. An argument could be made that in some cases you may see a drop in injury rates as an added benefit with improved power during competition.
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