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Preventing Injury and Enhancing Performance


Preventing Injury and Enhancing Performance

By Christina Vivit

person-stretching-clipart-1

 

Contrary to popular belief, clinical evidence does not support the idea that stretching before exercise prevents injury. Static stretching as the only warm-up before exercise can decrease joint stability, reduce muscle strength, and lessen one’s ability to absorb his or her maximum amount of energy. Static stretching occurs when a person holds a stretch for thirty seconds or more. As a way to prevent injury and enhance performance, a proper warm-up must be done before exercise or participating in an athletic event. This warm-up may include brief stretching, but dynamic exercises more importantly, such as light aerobic exercise (i.e. light jog, high knees, cherry pickers, etc.) for around 5-10 minutes. If an individual is warming up for a sport, then he or she should incorporate dynamic movements relevant to activity, such as the motion of swinging a bat or pitching a baseball if getting ready for a baseball game.

Benefits of a Proper Warm-Up

A proper warm-up can provide many benefits of which include:

-Increase in body and muscle temperature

-Decrease resistance within muscles

-Increase in blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles

-Increase muscle compliance

-Increase range of motion and flexibility

-Increase speed of nerve impulses and muscle contraction

(Frese, 2016)