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Preventing Injury and Enhancing Performance

Preventing Injury and Enhancing Performance

By Christina Vivit



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)