The Salt Lake Tribune called about the current controversy over static stretching, site stretching a muscle with a 20-30 second hold. Some research shows that static stretching induces a reduction in both power and strength. However, if static stretching is followed by some kind of dynamic movement or mobility work then those observed power and strength reductions are offset. The following warm-up protocol is widely employed by professional strength and conditioning coaches in all the major league sports.
- Self-myofascial release (SMR), or Foam Rolling.
- Static Stretching.
- Dynamic and or mobility movement.
- Vigorous movement, skipping, sprinting, bounding, etc.
We follow this same protocol at Age Performance and have found it to produce excellent results. Another thing to consider is that the reductions in strength and power are minimal. The added benefits that come with increased flexibility would out weigh the little reductions in strength and power at the level that most of us engage in any way. Both flexibility and mobility are very important to us in terms of better movement as we go through life.
Below is a video put together by Gil Hedley, Phd., called the “Fuzz Speech, ” where he describes very well another important reason for stretching and foam rolling as well.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/4011392675/