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Static versus Dynamic Stretching Prior to Competition

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:


  1. Warm up with gentle jog or stationary bike for 10 minutes
  2. Perform static stretching one hour prior to competition and %25 to %50 of max discomfort.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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