What Does Sports Science Research Have to Say About Warming Up?

Strength & Conditioning Coach Jesse Irizarry (see bio below) was kind enough to send me his noted pertaining to the research associated with warm-ups. Hopefully this information will be valuable to other strength and sport coaches.

warm-up

A Review of the Acute Effects of Static and Dynamic Stretching on Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  David G. Behm and Anis Chaouachi at School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NF A1C 5S7, Canada and Tunisian Research Laboratory ‘‘Sport Performance Optimisation’’, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports, Tunis, Tunisia
  • Published Eur J Appl Physiol (2011) 111:2633–2651 DOI 10.1007/s00421-011-1879-2
  • This is a review of the effects of static and dynamic stretching on performance
  • ASAP, ProQuest 5000, MEDLINE, SPORT Discus, AUSPORT, ScienceDirect, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases were searched
  • Although it seems more likely from the literature that static stretching decreases performance while dynamic stretching may increase performance, there is a discrepancy in the literature that static stretching does actually decrease performance.
  • The negative effects of static stretching may be due to duration and type of contraction there are also mixed findings with this.
  • Because static stretching can increase muscle compliance, it can enhance the ability of the MTU to store elastic energy over a longer period. “Some studies using longer duration contractions or slower stretch-shortening  cycle activities have shown either no effect or increased performance following stretching. So bench press actions with a long eccentric contraction and longer distance running as well as longer ground contact of transition times may benefit from a more compliant and flexible MTU
  • Walshe and Wilson showed that drop jumps were impaired by stiffer MTU because of the decreased ability to “mitigate the high loads” which increases inhibition via Golgi tendon organs. It overrides stretch reflex an instead results in protective mechanism.
  • While not all actions benefit from this, those with prolonged SSC might.
  • Conversely, elite sprinters have been shown to have negative effects of changes in viscoelastic properties and stiffness of MTU leading to negatively impact transmission of force and rate of force transmission. Stiffer MTU may augment these factors by improving force-velocity and length-tension relationship.

Acute Effects of A Warm-Up Including Active, Passive, And Dynamic Stretching on Vertical Jump Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Felipe L.P. CARVALHO,  MAURO C.G.A. CARVALHO,  ROBERTO SIMAO , THIAGO M. GOMES, PABLO B. COSTA, LUDGERO B. NETO, RODRIGO L.P. CARVALHO, AND ESTE LIO H.M. DANTAS
  • Published September 2012 in the Journal Of Strength and Conditioning Research (www.nsca.com) Volume 26 |Number 9|pages 2447-2452 in September 2012
  • The purpose of this study was to see the immediate effects of 3 different stretching methods that were combined with a specific warm-up protocol. These were tested to see the effect on vertical jump performance
  • Participants included 16 young male tennis players 14.5 ± 2.8 years, 175 ± 5.6 cm (appx. 5’7” ± 2.2 inches) , 64 ± 11.1 Kg ( appx. 141 lbs ± 24 lbs). They were physically activated, had no limitations, and had greater than 2 years experience in their sport.
  • There were 4 different experimental conditions on 5 successive days. The athletes were randomly assigned to the 4 different conditions. Every session had both a general and specific warm up, included 5 minutes of running followed by 10 jumps and one of the 4  experimental conditions
  • The participants performed 1 of 4 conditions randomly on 4 consecutive days  always at 3pm 2 hours after having lunch and then performed 3 squat jumps and 3 countermovement jumps. The jumps were measured electronically. The athletes came in 5 times but the first day was to read and sign informed consent, explanation of protocol, and anthropometric measurements.
  • Every athlete went through the same warm-up protocol of 5 minutes running around a tennis court with a standardized HR or appx. 140 b .min. followed by 5 squat jumps and 5 countermovement jumps. After this they performed one of the 4 conditions:
  • The 4 conditions were:

1)      The Control Condition (CC) – 5 minutes of passive rest without stretching exercises

2)       Passive Stretching Condition (PSC) – 5 minutes of passive static stretching ( 3 exercises, 3 sets, 15 seconds)

3)      Active Stretching Condition (ASC) – 5 minutes of active static stretching (3 exercises, 3 sets, 15 seconds).

4)      Dynamic Stretching Condition (DC) –  5 minutes of dynamic stretching (3 exercises, 3 sets,).

  • All stretching exercises focused on the hamstrings, quadriceps, and triceps surae muscles to replicate common stretching routines before sports activities. All stretching, except the dynamic, was held for 15 seconds and the static stretches (both active and passive) were held at a point of mild discomfort.  They dynamic stretches were to be performed with a bob in 1:1- second cycles for 30 seconds trying to stretch further every time.
  • After each of the 4 conditions the athletes performed 3 more squat jumps and 3 more countermovement jumps to test the effect of each protocol.
  • Their jump height was measured by a software called the Axon Jump 4.0 and the athletes were told by the investigator when to jump as high as they could on this mat.

Background-

  • Although there has been a common belief in the past that stretching exercises in warm-up reduces DOMS and chance of injury, recent studies have shown that stretching exercises decrease strength and power output and some authors have advised against it for predominantly strength and power activities.
  • Behm and Chaouachi  (Behm, DG and Chaouachi, A. A review of the acute effects of static and dynamic stretching on performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 111:1–19, 2011) found that dynamic stretching is more helpful than static to improve explosive performance.
  • Dynamic stretching has been shown to improve performance though enhancing MU excitability as well as greater central activations of motor neuron, increased MU recruitment and synchronization, and decreased presynaptic inhibition.
  • The decrease in performance caused by static stretching involves both mechanical (“mechanical stretching results in a longer and more compliant musculo-tendonous unit, resulting in reduced peak torque and slower RFD.”) and neural (decreased MU activation) factors.
  • Other studies have shown conflicting results of effect of static, ballistic, and dynamic stretching

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • For squat jumps – performance decreased with PSC (passive stretching) and ASC (active stretching) when compared to the CC (control condition). PSC jumps being 28.7 ± 4.3 cm; p= 0.01 while ASC jumps being 28.7 ± 4.7 cm and PSC jumps being – 28.7 ± 4.3 cm; p= 0.02 on average.
  • For counter movement jumps (CMJs) – no significant performance decreases occurred with any of the 4 conditions (p > 0.05) compared with the CC.
  • There was a significant increase in squat jump performance when comparing Dynamic stretching condition (29.6 ± 4.9 cm; p=0.02) with PSC (28.7 ± 4.3 cm)
  • There was more of a significant increase in performance in counter movement jumps when performing (ASC) active stretching (34.0 ± 6.0 cm; p=0.04) and even more with (DC) dynamic
  • Participants used warm-ups with activities using jumps and the authors noted that this could have influenced outcomes.
  •  This shows that dynamic stretching is best for  a warm-up in young athletes
  • Although squat jumps performance suffered after the use of passive and active static stretching as compared with the CC, no decrease in counter movement jump performance was observed. The authors explain that this MAY be because the volume of stretching was not high enough to change musculotendinous stiffness and so not altering “rate of muscle activation and reflex sensitivity. This idea is corroborated with another study by Yamaguchi and Ishii which showed that 30 second static stretching for lower body muscle groups did not show decreased ability to generate power in the lower body. The authors also suggest that the loss in power output of subsequent activity maybe dependent on the intensity and volume of stretching.

Acute Effects of Different Warm-Up Protocols on Fitness Performance in Children

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By AVERY D. FAIGENBAUM,  MARIO BELLUCCI,  ANGELO BERNIERI,  BART BAKKER, AND KARLYN HOORENS at (Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey 08628; 2Regional Institute of Educational Research, Rome, Italy; 3Rome International School, Rome, Italy
  • Published 2005 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning research 19(2), 376–381 (volume 19 number 2 pages 376-381).
  • 60 children, 27 girls and 33 boys (mean age 11.3 ± 0.7 years, mean height of 147.1 ± 8.9 cm and mean weight of 39.2 ± 7.7 kg) performed 3 different warm-up routines on nonconsecutive days to compare the acute effects on youth fitness. The routines were done in random order.
  • After each warm-up session (each lasting 10 minutes), the subjects tested vertical jump, long jump, shuttle run, and v-sit flexibility.
  • The 3 different warm-up routines were:

1)Protocol A – 5 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of static stretching (SS) – 6 stretches in all held for 15 seconds each. They resembled a typical warm-up routine stretch used and recommended for PE

2) Protocol B  – 10 minutes of dynamic exercise (DY) progressing form moderate to high intensity. Each exercise was done for a distance of 13m, rested about 10 seconds and repeated the same distance back to the starting point. It was to replicate warm-up routines done for sports. (High knee walk, straight leg march, hand walk, lunge walks, backward lunge, high knee skip, lateral shuffle, back pedal, heel ups, high knee run

3) Protocol C -10 minutes of dynamic exercise (same as in protocol B)AND 3 drop jumps performed 1 minute after dynamic warm up from 15-cm boxes (DYJ). Subjects jumped down from first box landed with both feet and jumped right onto second box of equal height placed 80 cm away. They were to minimize ground reaction time and the drop jumps were used because “the primary muscles controlling movements requiring stretch-shortening muscle actions become highly activated during the eccentric phase.”

Background-

  • Static stretching has long been a pre-performance procedure for both young and old even though there is little research to back the idea that it can prevent injury and increase performance. In fact, recent studies have shown acute bouts of static stretching can negatively affect subsequent strength or power performance in adults.

Significant Methods-

  • All participants had 2 intro sessions to familiarize them with fitness tests and warm up protocols to reduce influence of “learning effects.”
  • The warm up sessions were conducted in groups of 15-20 and supervised by 2 Physical Education Teachers in a school gym (the same teacher tested the same subjects every time) and the three protocols were done in random order and administered 2 to 4 days apart.
  • The participants were not to do any moderate to vigorous activity.
  • The fitness tests that were conducted after  warm-up protocols (standing long jump, vertical jump, and shuttle run tests were standardized and performed with a countermovement to initiate for both the vertical and horizontal jumps.
  • The best of 3 jumps was recorded  a measured to the nearest 0.5 cm and the best of 2 shuttle runs was recorded to nearest 0.1 second. This was timed with a handheld stopwatch. The v-sit flexibility test was to judge lower back and hamstring flexibility and the best of 3 trials was  recorded to nearest 0.5 cm.
  • “Test-retest reliability intra-class R for the dependent variables was R > 0.85
  • All subjects walked at easy pace for 2 minutes after warm-up protocol prior to testing. The tests were done in the following order – vertical jump, long jump, shuttle run, and flexibility. All subjects completed these test in about 25-30 minutes and done within 9 days.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There was no significant increase in flexibility with any of the 3 warm up routines.
  • Vertical Jump and shuttle-run performance was significantly impaired following static stretching as compared with both dynamic exercise routine (DY) and dynamic exercise plus 3 box jumps routine (DYJ) and long jump performance was significantly impaired following static stretching as compared with DYJ
  • Most of the subjects (77%) participated in  after school sport activities (mostly soccer and swimming) at least 3 days a week.
  • There was a secondary test to assess cardiorespiratory demand of the 3 protocols. Eleven randomly selected subjects (7 boys and 4 girls) had HR monitors on that interfaced with a computer and recorded HR date every 5 seconds for statistical analysis.
  • The findings were consistent with studies by Young and Elliot and McNeal and Sands that both observed decreased jumping performance after static stretching.
  • The most noticeable decrease in vertical jump performance (lowered by 6.5%)was after low intensity aerobic exercise and static stretching. Long jump and shuttle-run speed was reduced by 1.9% and 2.6%.
  • The author admits that the time in between the warm-up protocols and the testing may have influenced results and that the first test may have influenced performance of subsequent tests.
  • Decreasing musculotendinous stiffness through stretching “may place the contractile elements in a position that is less than optimal for generating force rapidly.”
  • Study shows that 10 minutes of moderate to high intensity dynamic exercise can positively influence power performance in children by enhancing neuromuscular function because of something referred to as postactivation potentiation (PAP) – which is believed to improve speed and power performance by increase rate of force development.

Acute Effects of Different Warm-Up Protocols With  And Without A Weighted Vest On Jumping Performance in Athletic Women

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By ARNE G. THOMPSEN, TED KACKLEY, MELINDA A. PALUMBO, AND AVERY D. FAIGENBAUM
  • Published 2007 in the Journal Of Strength and Conditioning Research Volume 21 |Number 1|pages 52-56 (Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts 02125; 2Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey 08628.)
  • The purpose of the study was to see immediate effects of 3 different warm-up protocols on vertical jump and long jump performance with and without a weighted vest.
  • Participants included 16 division III college athlete women with at least 1 year of resistance training experience(primarily ages 18-24 (age 19.7 ± 1.4 years, weight – 67.0 ± 10.7 kg, height- 165.7 ± 11.4 cm).
  • When study began, the athletes were in the midst of a preseason strength and conditioning program including plyos, weightlifting and strength exercises including the bench press and squat.
  • For this study, they performed 3 test sessions in random order on 3 nonconsecutive days. Before the tests they performed 1 of 4 warm up protocols, each lasting 10 minutes.
  • The protocols were as follows:

1)      Low to moderate intensity stationary cycling for five minutes followed by 4 lower body static stretches (rating of 3 or 4 on the modified Borg rating of perceived exertion scale (3 sets for 20 seconds). (SS) an aerobic warm up was used first because it was thought inappropriate to do static stretching in a rested state.

2)      12 moderate to high intensity dynamic exercises(DY) (11 different exercises, with 1 exercise [lateral lunge] being performed twice) that progressed from moderate-to high-intensity movements (Table 2). Subjects performed each dynamic exercise for 20 yd, rested for about 5–10 seconds, and then repeated the same exercise for 20 yd as they returned to the starting point.

3)      The same 12 dynamic exercises with weighted vest weighing 10% of bodymass (around 6-7kg). The weighted vest was only used on the last 4 exercises though. (DYV). Same exercise as above for DY but added a weighted vest for last 4 (high knee skip, high knee run, heel kick, power skip).

  • Vertical jump performance increased following DYV (p < 0.05) (43.9 ± 6.7 cm) and DY (43.6 ± 6.5 cm) as compared to SS (41.7 ± 6.0 cm).
  • Long jump performance was significantly better (p< 0.05) following DYV (186.8 ± 19.5 cm) compared with DY measurements (182.2 ± 19.1 cm) which in turn was significantly greater (p < 0.05) than performance following SS (177.2± 18.8 cm).

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Both long jump and vertical jump performance was better after dynamic warm up both weighted and not weighted.
  • Long jump was significantly better with a dynamic warm up including the weighted vest as opposed to the same dynamic warm up without a weighted vest. But dynamic warm up without a weighted vest was still much better than stationary cycling and static stretching warm up
  • This was the first test to study immediate results of jump performance using dynamic warm up with a vest compared to without in athletic women.
  • Long jump performance was 2.5% better with a weighted vest than without
  • Although the authors cite studies that agree with findings, a study by Koch et al. shows no significant effect of any warm up routine on jump performance. But differences in training age, intensity and duration may account for this.
  • Weighted vests may enhance neuromuscular function because of PAP in type 11 fibers but it must be noted that excessive weight and volume may not produce these same results.
  • YOUNG, W., A. JENNER, AND K. GRIFFITHS. Acute enhancement of power performance from heavy load squats. J. Strength Cond. Res. 12:82–84. 1998.  Found similar results in that counter movement jump height increased 3.3% after 1 set of half squats with a 5 rep max load.

Acute Effects of Stretching Are Not Evident in the Kinematics of the Vertical Jump

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By DUANE KNUDSON, KATI BENNETT, ROD CORN, DAVID LEICK, AND
  • CHRIS SMITH at Department of PE and ES, California State University, Chico Chico, California 95929
  • Published 2001 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning research 15(1), 98–101
  • A sample of 20 young adults (10 males and 10 females mean age of 23.7 ± 4.5 years, mean heights and weights of males – 1.76 (0.04) m, 85.7 (9.7) kg, mean heights and weights of females 1.64 (0.05) m, 62.4 (5.2) kg) were tested on 2  occasions with a random warm-pup routine to find acute effect of stretching on kinematics of vertical jump using saggital plane videography (60 Hz)
  • The goal of the study was to see the acute changes in kinematic variables related to stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) muscle actions from stretching during warm-up. It focuses on a good pool of physically active adults rather than specific athletes, although some athletes of various sports were uses.

Significant Methods –

  • The study included 2 test sessions scheduled a week at a similar time of day apart with 2 warm up routines – control ( C ) and stretching (S)
  • The routines bean with taping of 13 mm diameter  retroflective marks to the fifth metatarsal, lateral malleolus, lateral epicondyle of the femur, greater trochanter, and acromion process.
  • After, subjects rode a lifecycle at resistance setting  1 (80rpm) for 3 minutes and then performed 3 practice vertical jumps. For the control routine, the subjects sat and rested 10 minutes after the bike and then performed  the jumps but for the stretching group subjects performed 3 sets of stretching, each stretch held for 3 15 second repetitions. This lasted 10 minutes as well.
  • The stretches are as follows: seated bilateral hamstring stretch, standing unilateral quadriceps stretches, and standing unilateral calf stretches. Quadricep and calf stretches were performed one leg at a time. All stretching was supervised by a certified athletic trainer and were held at a point just before discomfort.
  • Videotapes of jumps were digitized from 5 frames before the countermovement to 5 frames after take-off with the “Peak Motus 4.3 videography system. The kinematic data was smoothed with a digital filter with optimal cutoff frequencies. The kinematics of a 4 segment rigid body model was calculated, and athropometric date was used to calculate the whole body COG.

Considerations and Conclusions – 

  • There was an overall nonsignificant effect of stretching on mean change of peak vertical velocity 

Acute effects of two different warm-up protocols on flexibility and lower limb explosive performance in male and female high level athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Charilaos Tsolakis and Gregory C. Bogdanis at Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Greece
  • Published (online) December 2012 in the Journal Of Sports Science and Medicine (http://www.jssm.org) Volume 11 |pages  669-675
  • The study took 20 high level speed/power athletes athletes/international level fencers who were members of the National team with considerable experience (10 males and 10 females)
  • The athletes performed conditioning to improve aerobic and anaerobic function twice a week and alternated weight training, circuit training, sprint and plyo drills.
  • The athletes were to perform two different warm-up protocols paired with either a moderate or high volume of ply jumps to see effects of lower limb power and flexibility were effected.
  • Each athlete came in 3 times. The first was the familiarize and take anthropometric measurements as well as go over procedures and the second two times were testing sessions done at the same time each day (16:00-20:00pm) with 2-4 days in between.
  • The warm up protocols both began with 5 min. light jogging.
  • The two protocols were:

1)short static stretching (15 seconds long) of main muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, and triceps surae)

2) Long static stretching (45 seconds long) of same muscle groups.

  • The testing that followed included one of the following either 3 sets of 3 (short stretching treatment) or 3 sets of 5 tuck jumps for (long stretching treatment).
  • Hip joint flexion was measured with a Lafayette goniometer before and after 5 min. warm up, after stretching and 8 minutes after tuck jumps.
  • Counter movement jump performance was also evaluated by an Ergojump contact platform before and after stretching treatment as well as both immediately after and 8 minutes after tuck jumps.
  • Condition time and gender were all compared through ANOVA
  • Women had greater ROM than men at baseline (125 ± 8 degrees vs. 94 ± 4 degrees p < 0.001) but the pattern of change in hip flexibility was the same between the genders.
  • Counter movement jump (CMJ) performance was better in males at baseline (38.2 ± 1.9 cm vs. 29.8 ± 1.2 cm p < 0.01) but the pattern of change was the same between genders as well.
  • Flexibility increased by 6.8 ± 1.1% ( p <0.01) after the warm-up and increased another 5.8 ± 1.6% (p < 0.01) after stretching. This flexibility remained increased 8 min. after the tuck jumps
  • The short stretching protocol did not affect CMJ performance  but was negatively effected by the long stretching protocol with a 5.5 ± 0.9% (p<0.01) decrease in performance.
  • However, 8 min. after the tuck jumps were done, CMJ performance was returned to baseline performance (baseline value – p =0.075) which indicates that although lower body power is decreased by long bouts of stretching, performing explosive exercises may reverse this.

Background-

  • Performing dynamic general or specific explosive movements that mimic sport and increase muscle temperature using maximal or near maximal muscle actions can induce a phenomenon called post-activation potentiation (PAP) which enhances muscle power in following 3-20 minutes as found in Gelen, 2010; Hilficker et al., 2007; Hodgson et al., 2005; Kilduff et al., 2007).
  • This study was to examine combined effect of stretching and muscle potentiating exercises used in speed/power sport warm-up on lower body power and flexibility – something that had not been combined in study and examined in detail. Long and short stretching protocols was also focused on to study to see if they would have differing outcomes.

Significant Methods-

  • Flexibility measurements were taken first, then 5 min. of light jogging followed by a bas;line measurement of CMJ and another measurement of hip ROM.
  • Stretching either for 15 s or 45 s to the point of discomfort. Static stretching included three different stretching exercises – unilateral standing quadriceps stretch, unilateral standing hamstring stretch, and unilateral standing calf stretch for each leg.
  • Two minutes after static stretching CMJ and ROM were checked on dominant leg again.
  • 3×5 of tuck jumps (PAP intervention) were done after the long stretching protocol and 3×3 tuck jumps were done after the short stretching protocol. Both rested 60 seconds between sets
  • Immediately after this and after 8 minutes of recovery CMJ was measured again and ROM was measured again as well but only after 8 minutes of recovery.

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • There was no significant correlation between changes in ROM and CMJ at any point
  • Although both long and short stretching protocols increase hip flexion ROM the same (~12.6%) CMJ performance was reduced only after longer duration static stretching about 5.5% This reduction continued when tested right after the tuck jumps but then performance returned to baseline when test 8 min. after tuck jumps.
  • The authors make the point that because performance did not increase significantly but rather remained the same after the tuck jumps (PAP) may indicate that although the short stretching did impair performance, the PAP returned performance to baseline- they basically cancelled themselves out.
  • Although the argument can be made that the long stretching protocol caused decreased performance because of the increase in ROM, the short stretching protocol caused similar increases which indicates that the decreased performance in CMJ after the long stretching protocol was a neural issue (reduction of excitatory drive from Ia afferents onto the alpha motorneuron which is, in turn caused by a decreased resting discharge of muscle spindles.

Aerobic Activity Before  and Following Short-duration Static Stretching Improves Range of Motion and Performance vs. a Traditional Warm-Up

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Justin R. Murphy, Mario C. Di Santo, Thamir Alkanani, and David G. Behm at School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Published Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 35: 679-690 (2010)
  • This study tested whether ROM could be improved with a short duration and volume of static stretching done during warm-up without negatively effecting performance.
  • It involved  eleven male volunteers ages 22-30 yrs. The average height was 182.1 ± 8.26 cm, average weight 84.6 ± 9.03 kg. They weight trained for competitive sports.
  • The subjects underwent two experimental protocols including ROM and performance measures.
  • The ROM protocol involved 3 conditions: 1) SS – 6 reps of 6 s hip extensor passive stretches 2) AS – 10 min treadmill run prior to SS 3)ASA – 5 minutes of treadmill running prior to and following the stretching routine. The subjects completed all 3 conditions in random order on nonconsecutive days.
  • Pre and post intervention changes in hip flexion passive ROM, passive hip flexion ROM were  taken 1, 10, 20, and 30 min. intervals after the warm-up condition.
  • The performance protocol involved 4 conditions: there were 6 reps each of 6 s passive stretches for hip extensors, quadriceps and plantar flexors. The AS and ASA conditions employed the same aerobic activity as the ROM protocol.
  • The control condition for the performance protocol involved a 10 min treadmill run without a stretching routine.
  • The performance protocol measured pre- and post intervention changes to countermovement jump height balance contacts, balance ration, reaction time and movement time.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • The ASA produced greater ROM overall than the SS and AS conditions persisting for 30 min.
  • There was no  changes in passive muscle tension or EMG
  • For performance protocol – there was no main effects of condition but main effect for time with countermovement jump height being greater at 1 and 10 min post warm up
  • Balance rations and MT improved at 10 min post warm up.

Controlled Warm-Up Intensity Enhances Hip Range Of Motion

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By David L. Wenos and Jeff G. Konin at Department of Health Sciences, Human Performance Laboratory, James Madison University, Harrisonburg,Virginia 22807
  • Published 2004 in the Journal Of Strength and Conditioning Research Volume 18 |Number 3| pages  529-533 18(3), 529–533
  • The study took 12 active and injury free men (mean age 25.6 ± 4.2 years, mean height 172.2 ± 9.7, mean weight ±72.2 ± 9.7 kg) and had them perform two active warm-up treatments and one passive warm- up treatment at the same time each day ± 2 hours . All treatments were administered 24 hours apart from each other. They were randomly assigned to see increase in temperature in hamstrings of dominant leg.
  • For the active treatments, the subjects ran on treadmill at 0% grade and a self-selected running speed was used for both treatments. The active treatments were as follows:

1)RER or 1.00 was reached as measured by a Quniton metabolic cart, participants continued to run for additional 3 minutes to maintain this RER. “The respiratory exchange ratio (RER) of the volume of carbon dioxide produced divided by oxygen consumption represents whole-body metabolic activity. For this study, an RER ratio of 1.0 was selected. It represents short-term, moderate to heavy submaximal exercise where carbohydrates are the primary energy substrate. For an RER of 1.0, oxygen consumption is characterized by an initial rise and plateaus to a steady state. This is comparable with warming up until sufficient body heat produces a sweat”

2) 60% of HRR was achieved through same treadmill procedures

  • The passive treatment involved placing pads (that were housed in a hydrocollator heating unit at 76.6 degrees Celsius for minimum of 6 hours) wrapped in a towel over the hamstring area.
  • Timed PNF (hold relax) was done immediately after each treatment laying in supine position with other leg secured to table. PNF was maintained for 10 seconds and repeated 3 times.
  • Hip flexion ROM was measured immediately after PNF and also 5, 10 and 15 minutes after with a Leighton Flexometer .
  • RPE was taken during this.
  • EMG activity of biceps femoris was measured during PNF
  • Tukey tests (p , 0.05) showed ROM for RER (107.48) was greater than all other treatments. ROM for HRR (102.88) and HP (103.48) did not differ from each other but were greater than the control (98.88). Ratings of perceived exertion were lowest for RER (4.0) and highest for control (8.5). Ratings of perceived exertion for HRR (6.0) and HP (6.5) were similar.

Background-

  • Flexibility is considered 1 of 5 health related components of fitness sand defined as complete ROM about a joint.
  • It has been hypothesized that a depression of the Hoffman reflex after a voluntary contraction is the mechanism that makes PNF (the most widely supported means to increase flexibility) increase ROM.
  • Worrell et al. found that increasing hamstring flexibility also increased ability to produce force using selective isokinetic paramaters.
  • Other studies do not seem to indicates greatly that applying heating or cooling agents to muscle produces greater flexibility even when combined with other methods.

Designing a Warm-Up Protocol for Elite Bob-Skeleton Athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Christian Cook, Danny Holdcroft, Scott Drawer, and Liam P. Kilduff at College of Engineering  Swansea University Singleton Park Wales
  • Published ahead of time 2012 in International Journal of Sports  Physiology and Performance
  • This study was to see effects of varying  warm-ups on British Bob skeleton athletes as opposed to their typical warm-up (warming up 30 minutes before racing).
  • The study included three female and three male British skeleton athletes  who were competing for election to Olympic team.
  • Male athletes (mean±SD) at time of study were: 1.74±0.08m tall; 78.7±10.2kg heavy and aged 28.3±3.1y, while female athletes were: 1.72±0.02 tall; 62.0±1.6kg heavy and 27.3±0.5y old.
  • Each warm-up was repeated twice two days apart at the same time each time – 9am and were randomized in a “counterbalanced manner.”
  • Each test was repeated twice at room temperature (~20.0 °C, 70-75% humidity) , each two days apart giving a total of 6 trials per protocol per athlete.
  • The warm up protocols were as follows:

1)      Protocol 1 (P1) – was the standardized warm-up that the athletes normally did (this was the control) and lasted 20 min. It was done 35 min. before testing – in accordance to how the athlete would normally warm-up. The athletes performed 3 x 20 m jogging and skipping with walking back; 3 x 20m at submaximal sprinting, 3 x 20 m sprint form drills, 2 z 20m leg swings; fast feet and high knees, 3 x 10m maximal sprints, 30s mixed calisthenics (press-ups; dead bugs; planks) and 2 min of dynamic stretching

2)      Protocol 2 (P2) – used the same time and durations but increased intensity by including more sprints and sprint drills and reducing rest intervals. The meters covered was increased by appx. 30%. This was complete the same time before testing

3)      Protocol 3 (P3) – used the same high intensity as P2 but was completed 15 min before testing instead.

4)      Protocol 4 (P4) – used the same high intensity warm-up but split into two 10 minute warm-ups. The first was done 40 min. before testing and second 15 minutes before testing.

  • In all 4 routines, the athletes did 3 further bursts (20-30 seconds long) of press-ups or knee-ups 12 minutes, 8 minutes and 4 minutes before testing.
  • Protocol 5 (P5) was  done after the other 4 routines where protocol 4 was done again but this time in survival garment (Blizzard Survival Garments, UK) for passive heat retention.
  • The performance testing done after the warm-ups was as follows:

–          3 repeats (each 3 min. apart) of 20 m sprints pulling a weighted sled (75 kg for females and 15 kg for males) with timing gates at 20m.

Background –

  • Recent analysis shows that 79% of research shows that warm-up improves performance
  • Bob-skeleton is a winter Olympic sport where athletes push a sled for 20-30m before jumping into the sled. Average temperature during competition is appx. +5◦C to -40◦C.
  • Typically, athletes did a warm-up outside 30 minutes before racing.

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • Magnitude of the difference between conditions was interpreted using a Cohen’s effect statistic where: <0.2 trivial, 0.2-0.6 small, 0.6-1.2 moderate, 1.2-2.0 large, and >2.0 very large.
  • All modified protocols were associated with faster sled pulls than the athlete’s standardised warm-up (P1): P1 vs P2 (p=0.01, ES= 0.6), vs P3 (p=0.000, ES=1.5), vs P4 (p=0.001, ES=1.0) and vs P5 (p=0.000, ES=1.8). P3 (p=0.000, ES=1.0), P4 (p=0.003, ES=0.4), and P5 (p=0.000, ES=1.2) showed significantly faster mean sled pull times than P2; while P3 (p=0.005, ES=0.6), and P5 (p=0.001, ES=0.9) faster compared to P4 and P5 (the addition of a heating garment) was significantly faster (but at a small effect size) compared to P3 (p=0.004, ES=0.3).
  • The subjects preferred P5 and P4 to P3 and P2

Does Stretching Improve Performance? A Systematic and Critical Review of the Literature

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Ian Shrier, MD, PhD
  • Published September 2004 in the Clin J Spor Medicine  Volume 15 |Number 5| pages  267-273
  • This was a review of 23 studies compiled from MEDLINE and Sport Discuss relating to the effects of stretching on performance.
  • The articles were divided into two categories: 1) the studies examining acute bout so stretching – within 60 minutes- on performance   2) Effects of regular long-term stretching over days to weeks.
  • The studies included just randomized controlled trials, cross-over trials (each subject is used as his/her own control), and repeated measure studies.

Background –

  • Stretching has been said to help performance because it changes passive visco-elastic properties which in turn decreases muscle stiffness so less energy is required to move limbs thereby possibly increasing force/speed of contraction.
  • On the other hand, decreased stiffness may decrease stored “recoil energy” which would increase energy requirements.
  • The author cautions against interpreting studies that only test stretching effects on one factor of performance test (such as only on force or only on running economy).

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • 22 of the 23 reviews suggested no benefit of acute stretching on isometric force, isokinetic torque, or jumping height. The measures included MVC, power, jump height, jump force, and jump velocity.
  • 1 study found static stretching detrimental for jumping but that dynamic stretching had no effect.
  • 1 article suggested that acute stretching it improved running economy but of the 2 articles that examined running speed, only one suggested that stretching helped, while 1 said it was detrimental and the 2 others had equivocal results. (the study population was limited to subjects with tight hip flexor and extensor muscles in the study where running economy improved due to stretching)
  • Concerning regular longer term stretching, 9 studies covered this (effects of repeat stretching) over days and weeks and 7 of those 9 suggested it was beneficial and the 2 that showed no effect were only looking at the performance test of running economy. None of them said it was detrimental.
  • The negative  effects of acute bouts of stretching  were observed for (1) static, ballistic, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretches; (2) males and females; (3) competitive and recreational athletes; (4) children and adults; (5) trained or untrained subjects; and (6) with or without warm-up. Similar results were found across study designs. There was limited research on the effect of the muscle’s preexercise tension and of contraction velocity. With regard to running speed, the results are conflicting.
  • Overall evidence strongly suggests regular long term stretching does in fact increase isometric force production and velocity of contraction but the 4 studies investigating running economy only 1 showed improved performance from long term stretching as evidenced by an improved 50 yd dash time. This suggest that “contraction velocity or force is more important in short sprints than running economy and the effects of long term stretching on long distance running is yet to be seen.
  • Acute bouts of exercise does decrease visco-elastic behavior of muscle and tendon and whith this decreased stiffness it takes less energy to move muscle but the reason stretching reduces performance seems to be the damage caused by stretching. It only takes movement 20%  beyond normal resting fiber length to cause strain and muscle damage and this occurs in some sarcomeres with just walking so it can been seen why stretching would cause
  • The author states that acute bouts of stretching actually decrease visco-elasticity and increase stretch tolerance but long term stretching over 3-4 weeks improves ROM not because it improves visco-elasticity but instead just because it improves stretch tolerance. This is evidence by the fact that long term stretching does not help running economy. He states that the improved performance from long term stretching could be due to stretch-induced hypertrophy.

Effect of A Dynamic Loaded Warm-Up on Vertical Jump Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By CHARLES CHATTONG, LEE E. BROWN, JARED W. COBURN, AND GUILLERMO J. NOFFAL at Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, California
  • Published September 20010 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research  34(7), 1751-1754
  • This study included 20 college age men ( mean age 22.45 ± 1.73, mean height 176.83 cm ± 6.67, mean weight 76.98 kg ± 8.56 who had at least  1 year of resistance training experience.  None of them had any current or previous injuries that would affect results.
  • The subjects were brought in for 5 testing sessions that were to determine the effects of varying levels or external resistance (this study used a weighted vest) box jumps on subsequent vertical ump performance.
  • Each day they performed a 5 minute warm-up on a cycle ergometer at a self-selected RPM level of 25 W . After this they performed 3 countermovement jumps with arm swing to get a baseline measurement for that day. Their vertical jump height was measure on a Vertec.  The rest time between each jump was 10-15 seconds in accordance to what has shown appropriate in other studies.
  • Subjects then performed 5 jumps onto a box the height of their lateral femoral condyle and after a 2 minute rest they then did 3 more vertical jumps. Day 1 was the control condition and this was all done the same for all subjects with no weight.
  • For the rest of the days, the subjects randomly performed one of 4 conditions – doing the 5 jumps with 5,10,15 or 20% of their BW. Everything else was done exactly the same as day 1.
  • There was no significant interaction of condition by time for vertical jump height but their was a significant main effect for time (p<0.05). with posttest jump height being greater (22.99 ± 3.35 in.) than pretest jump height (22.69 ± 3.37 in.)
  • By this it was concluded that vertical jump height increased regardless of protocol indicating that the box jumps increase performance with or without the added resistance. The weigh vests had no added effect on performance.
  • Although Burkett et al. found that vertical jump performance was increased with an added resistance of 10% of BW, that study differed from this in that a 25 in. box was used regardless of subject’s height and this study used the height of the subject’s lateral femoral condyle height which on average was 20.47 in. ranging from 19.5 inches to 23 inches and Burkett et al. only used one level of resistance.

Background

  • “A specific dynamic warm-up can be described as a warm-up that addresses key muscle groups and the necessary neuromuscular coordination needed to perform a specific action, such as the vertical jump.”
  • Studies have investigated PAP induced from specific dynamic warm ups coupled with heavy resistance (dumbbells or barbells mimicking movements) had a positive effect on subsequent activities such as jumping and sprinting. This is because PAP occurs when performing a contraction at or near maximal intensity. PAP has been associated with phosphorylation of mysosin regulatory light chains, increased recruitment of higher order motor units and a possible change in pennation angle.

Dynamic Vs. Static Stretching Warm Up: The Effect On Power And Agility Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By DANNY J. MCMILLIAN,1 JOSEF H. MOORE,2 BRIAN S. HATLER,3 AND DEAN C. TAYLOR at 1U.S. Army MEDDAC, Heidelberg, Germany; 2U.S. Army-Baylor University Doctoral Physical Therapy Program, U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234; 3Keller Army Community Hospital, West Point, New York 10996.
  • Published September 2006 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research  20(3), 429-499
  • This study involved thirty cadets ( 16 men mean age 20.2 ± 1.2 years, mean height 182.4 ± 6.6 cm and mean weight 88.8 ± 9.0 kg; and 14 women mean age 20.4 ± 1.5 years, mean height 167.1 ± 7.9 cm and mean weight 64.0 ± 7.8 kg) recruited from club sports (either members of rugby and lacrosse – who were competing weekly –  or strength and conditioning teams) at the United States Military Academy (USMA). All subjects were in had weekly physical routines.
  • Subjects were screened and excluded if had acute impairment of spine or lower extremities, vestibular dysfunction or balance disorder, or history of neurological disorders affecting upper or lower extremities.
  • The subjects performed 2 different warm-up routines – dynamic warm-up (DWU) and static-stretching warm up (SWU) and no warm-up routine (NWU) on 3 consecutive days. Each session lasted 10 minutes (NWU involved 10 minutes of rest).  The order was counterbalanced to avoid potential biasing effects associated with test sequence.
  • The Dynamic warm up routine was as follows:

Calisthenics: Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise at a slow to moderate cadence unless otherwise indicated. All component movements are required for each repetition.

Bend and reach-  Reach high overhead. Squat and reaching between the legs, allowing the back to flex, but keeping the heels down. Return to the starting position. Perform at a slow cadence.

Rear lunge and reach –  Start with hands on hips. Lunge to the rear while simultaneously reaching overhead. Return to the starting position in one motion. Repeat with the opposite leg. Keep most of the weight on the front leg. Lunge progressively further and deeper with each repetition. Keep the abdominals tight to maintain a stable trunk. Perform at a slow cadence.

Turn and reach –  Stand with arms extended to the side at shoulder level with the palms up. Turn to the left and pause while keeping the pelvis facing forward. The arms should now be directed forward and rearward. Return to the starting position, then repeat to the other side. Keep the abdominals tight throughout. Keep the head directed forward throughout. Perform at a slow cadence.

Squat –  Start with hands on hips. Squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor (or to your tolerance). Keep the heels on the floor. The arms should be raised to shoulder level for counterbalance.

Rower – Start in the supine position with arms overhead, head a few inches off the ground with the chin slightly tucked. In one motion, raise to a seated position, bend the knees to bring the feet flat, and bring the arms parallel to the ground.

Power jump- Start with the arms high overhead, with the feet, knees and hips aligned vertically. Squat and reach toward the ground with the arms outside the legs, keeping the back straight. Jump and reach overhead, landing in the squat position described above. Return to the starting position.

Prone row –  From the prone position with the arms overhead and several inches off of the ground, begin by raising the chest slightly and bringing the hands back to shoulder level in a rowing motion. Maintain abdominal muscle tension throughout the exercise. The hands and elbows remain parallel to the ground at all times. Maintain the neck in a neutral position.

Push-up –  At the starting position, the hands are directly under the shoulders or slightly wider. Elbows are straight, but not locked. The abdominals are contracted to maintain the trunk in line with the thighs. Do not lower the trunk past the point at which the upper arms are parallel to the ground. Perform at a moderate to fast cadence.

Windmill – From a relatively wide stance with the arms extended sideways and palms down, squat, bend forward and rotate the trunk to the left in order to reach the right hand to the left foot. Return to the starting position, then repeat to the opposite side. Keep the arms directed in opposite directions. Avoid excessive flexion of the spine.

Diagonal lunge and reach – Start with the arms high overhead. Lunge diagonally forward to the left while simultaneously lowering the hands to the lower leg. Return to the starting position in one motion. Repeat to the right. Keep the foot of the forward leg directed to the front, rather than in the direction of the lunge. Keep the trunk straight and the head up. Do not allow the knee of the forward leg to go beyond the toes or lateral to the foot.

Movement drills: Perform each exercise over a 20- to 25-m segment. Pause for 10–15 seconds of rest and return to the start point. This completes 1 repetition. Perform 1 repetition of each exercise. Maintain a slow to moderate pace unless otherwise indicated.

Verticals Run –  forward on the balls of the feet, raising the knees to waist level and maintaining a tall, upright stance. Use strong arm action to support the movement. Hands should move from waist to chin level with an approximately 90_ bend in the elbows throughout. There should be no backswing of the legs with this drill.

Laterals-  Stand perpendicular to the direction of movement, in a slight crouch with the back straight. Step to the side by rising slightly and bringing the trailing leg to the lead leg. Quickly hop to the side and land back in the crouch with the knees shoulder-width apart. Face the same direction for the down and back segments.

Crossovers –  Stand perpendicular to the direction of movement, in a slight crouch with the back straight. Cross the trailing leg to the front of the lead leg and step in the direction of travel to return to the starting position. Then cross the trailing leg to the rear of the lead leg and step in the direction of travel to return to the starting position. Repeat this sequence to the 25-yd stopping point. Face the same direction for the down and back segments. Let the arms swing naturally side to side to support balance. Allow the hips to swivel naturally.

Skip –  Step and then hop, landing on the same leg, followed by the same action with the opposite leg. Use strong arm action to support the movement. Hands should move from waist to chin level with an approximately 90_ bend in the elbows throughout. When the right leg is forward, the left arm swings forward and the right arm is to the rear. When the left leg is forward, the right arm swings forward and the left arm is to the rear.

Shuttle sprint –  Run at a moderate pace to the 25-yd line. When nearing the line, slow the movement, make a quarter-turn clockwise, plant the left foot parallel to the line, and squat or bend in order to touch the ground at the line. Run back to the starting line, turning counterclockwise to touch the ground with the right hand. Run back to and through the 25-yd line, gradually accelerating to near maximum speed.

  • The stating stretching routine involved the following stretches: Overhead arm pull, turn and reach, rear lunge and reach, hamstring stretch and calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, posterior hip stretch, trunk flexion/extension stretch  – Subjects performed 1 repetition of each stretch to each side. Stretches were held 20–30 seconds unless otherwise indicated.
  • The subjects then performed one of 3 tests (also counterbalanced) 1-2 minutes after warm-up. The tests included:

1)      The 5 step jump – to measure functional leg power

2)      The medicine ball throw for distance – to test total-body power

3)      The T-drill – to measure agility. (forward and backward points of the T-drill set at 5m rather than 10 yd to emphasize lateral movement)

  • All tests were conducted at the same time at the same site on an empty stomach (6am).
  • The tests were done as follows:

5-step jump From a parallel stance behind the starting line, subjects maximally jump from both legs to land on the left leg. Without stopping, maximally jump to the right leg, back to the left leg, back to the right leg and finally stopping with a 2-leg landing. The distance from the starting line to the back of the most rearward heel is recorded. The jump must be repeated if the subject falls backward on the final landing. Measurement was recorded to the nearest inch (based on preexisting floor markings) and converted to meters. The average of 2 trials was used for statistical analysis. Trials in which either graders or subjects noted execution errors were not recorded.

T-drill – Three cones are set 5 m apart on a straight line. A fourth cone is placed 5 m from the middle cone to form a ‘‘T.’’ The subject starts at the cone at the base of the T. The grader gives the signal to go and starts the stopwatch. The subject runs to the middle cone and touches the cone, then side steps 5 m to the left cone and touches that cone. The subject side steps 10 m to the far right cone and touches that cone, then side steps 5 m back to the middle cone and touches that cone. The subject runs 5 m backwards past the base of the T. The grader stops the watch when the subject passes the base of the T. Measurement was recorded to 0.01 of a second. The average of 2 trials was used for statistical analysis. Trials in which either graders or subjects noted execution errors were not recorded.

Medicine ball underhand –throw for distance From a parallel stance behind the starting line, subjects maximally throw a 9-lb medicine ball using an underhanded toss. Subjects are encouraged to use countermovement as long as the feet remain parallel on the ground until the ball is released. The feet may leave the ground and cross the starting line as the ball is released. The grader will measure the distance from the starting line to the point where the ball first lands. Measurement was recorded to the nearest inch (based on preexisting floor markings) and converted to meters. The average of 2 trials was used for statistical analysis. Trials in which either graders or subjects noted execution errors were not recorded.

* The order of testing was counterbalanced over the 3 days of testing.

  • Results indicated that DWU increase performance modestly in all 3 tests relative to SWU and NWU(p < 0.01).
  • There was no significant change in performance between SWU and NWU for T-drill and medicine ball throw for distance but SWU  significantly improved performance for 5 step jump over NWU

Background –

  • It’s been stated that the purpose of pre-exercise warm-up “is to increase muscle and tendon suppleness to stimulate blood flow to the periphery, to increase body temperature, and to enhance free, coordinately movement.
  • Active warm-up may also decrease muscle stiffness by “breaking stable bonds between actin and mysosin filaments, through stretching likely has the same effect”

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • Gleim et al, in a review stated that flexibility should be specific to sport and “decreased flexibility might actually increase economy of movement in sports such as distance running, where only the mid-portion of the ROM is used.
  • Limitations in the study include that only 3 repeated measures were  conducted due to limited availability of participants so combined effects of dynamic and static stretching warm-up was not conducted.

Dynamic Warm-Up Protocols, With and Without a Weighted Vest, and Fitness Performance in High School Female Athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Avery D. Faigenbaum*; James E. McFarland†; Jeff A. Schwerdtman*; Nicholas A. Ratamess*; Jie Kang*; Jay R. Hoffman* at *The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ; †Hillsborough High School, Hillsborough, NJ
  • Published Journal of Athletic Training 2006;41(4):357–363
  • This study examined the acute effects of 4 warm up protocols with and without weighted vest on anaerobic performance in high school athletes.
  • It involved 18 high school female athletes. Mean age 15.3 ± 1.2 years, mean height 166.3 ± 9.1 cm, mean weight 61.6 ± 10.4 kg with resistance training and dynamic warm up experience.
  • Subjects first performed 5 minutes of jogging and then randomly performed 1 of 4 warm up protocols- 1) five static stretches (2 x 30 seconds), 2) Nine moderate-intensity to high intensity dynamic exercises,3) the same 9 dynamic exercises with a weight vest 2% of body mass, 4) the same 9 dynamic exercises with weighted vest 6% of body mass.
  • After this vertical jump, long jump, seated medicine ball toss, and 10 yd sprint were performed
  • The static stretches included: hip and lower back stretch, chest and hamstring stretch, lying quadriceps stretch, calf stretch, triceps and side-bend stretch
  • The dynamic warm up exercises included: speed skips, heel kicks, toes in toes out, trunk twists, skipping straight-leg toe touches, drop squat carioca, push-ups, sprint series, high knee skip

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Vertical jump was significantly great after dynamic warm up and dynamic warm up with 2% weight vest compared with static stretching
  • Long jump performance was significantly better with dynamic warm up with 2% weight vest.
  • No significant differences were observed for seated med. Ball toss or 10 yd sprint.

Effect of Active Warm-Up on Metabolism Prior To and During Intense Dynamic Exercises

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Susan C. Gray, Giuseppe Devito, and Myra A. Nimmo  at Strathclyde Institute for Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UNITED KINGDOM
  • Published September 2002 in the Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 12, 2091-2096
  • This study was to determine if active warm-up (high and low intensity) would increase acetyl group availability sufficiently to alter metabolism during subsequent exercise.
  • The participants included 6 healthy females (mean age 26 ± 4 years, mean height 1.64 m ± 0.06, mean weight 60.9 ± 4.0 kg, mean percent bodyfat 24.2 ± 3.7%, mean peak oxygen uptake – Vo2 peak  43.3 ± 5.5 and mean power output – PO max – 239 ± 26
  • Subjects were tested 7 and 10 days after onset of menses and again appx. 12 days after ovulation because it has been shown that metabolic response to intense exercise does not differ between these two phases of menstrual cycle.
  • Peak oxygen uptake was tested directly by continues incremental cycling test to volitional exhaustion on an electronically braked cycle ergometer. Test was initiated at 70 W and increased by 35 W every 2 min. for first 6 min. and same every minute until could not complete workload.
  • The 6 subjects performed  30 s sprint at 120% of their maximal power output on an electronically braked cycle ergometer 5 min. after undertaking an active warm-up. This was done at the same time every day from 9am-11am in an environmental chamber (that remained 22 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity of 35%). to control changes in environmental conditions
  • Temperature was taken when subjects first arrived with a rectal thermistor probe and a muscle biopsy of one leg was taken.
  • The subjects then waited 20 minutes and either underwent an active warm up (AW or underwent a control trial (C)  )

The AW consisted of cycling at 40% PO max for 5 min at a cadence of  60 rev ·min_1 followed by a 1-min rest period, then four 15-s sprints (120% POmax, 120 rev·min_1), with a 15-s recovery period separating each sprint. On the alternate visit, subjects undertook a control trial (C). On this occasion, before exercise, subjects’ legs were passively heated to the same preexercise Tm as that induced by the active warm-up (determined either from familiarization or the main trial). This was achieved by wrapping an electric heat blanket around both legs from the ankle to the gluteal fold.

  • The control lasted on average 32 minutes.

Background-

  • It’s been stated that warm-up alter metabolic responses in subsequent exercise and that this is because of increased blood flow and so O2 deliver to muscles after active warm-up but Bangsbo et al. has shown that O2 supply to contracting muscle is in excess of demand in initial phase of dynamic exercise and that o2 delivery is not limiting for Vo2 (oxygen uptake) of contracting muscle.
  • As a result of that study, it seems likely that another metabolic response during exercise preceded by warmup is result of difference in o2 deliver to active muscle and  evidence suggest mitochondrial acetyl group availability may partly determine relative contribution made by anaerobic and oxidative ATP contraction.

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • Active warm-up significantly increased the concentration of acetylcarnitine from 4.5  1.5 mmol·kg dry muscle (dm)1 at rest to 9.4  1.6 mmol·kg dm1 before the onset of exercise. There was no change in acetylcarnitine concentration in C. During exercise the accumulation of muscle lactate was  significantly less in AW compared with C (21.9  3.8 vs 34.3  2.3 mmol·kg dm1, respectively)
  • Active warm-up caused less accumulation of both blood and muscle lactate during intense exercise which suggest less reliance on energy derived from anaerobic sources.

Comprehensive Warm-Up Programmed To Prevent Injuries in Young Female Footballers: Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Torbjørn Soligard, 1 Grethe Myklebust, Kathrin Steffen, Ingar Holme, Holly Silvers, Mario Bizzini, Astrid Junge, Jiri Dvorak, Roald Bahr, Thor Einar Andersen, a
  • Published BMJ 2008;337:a2469 doi:10.1136/bmj.a2469
  • This study randomized 125 different football clubs for south, east, and middle Norway and separated them into an intervention group (which included 65 clusters) and a control group (which included 60 clusters) and followed them for one league season (8 months) to see effects of detailed warm-up program on risk of injury.
  • The groups included 1892 female players aged 13-17 (mean age 15.4 (SD 0.7) ). There were 1055 players in the intervention group and 837 players in the controlled group.
  • The intervention group went through a detailed warm-up program to increase strength, awareness, and neuromuscular control during static and dynamic movements.
  • The injuries that were to be watched and measured for were to lower extremities including – foot, ankle, lower leg, knee, thigh, groin, and hip.
  • All clubs involved trained two times a week in addition to play and practiced two to five times a week and played between 15-30 matches during the season.
  • The FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre developed warm-up program consisting of 3 parts –1) running exercise at slow speed combined with active stretching and controlled contacts with partner, 2)six different sets of exercise including strength, balance, and jumping exercise each with three levels of increasing difficulty, and 3) speed running combined with football (soccer) specific movements with sudden changes in direction.
  • The complete exercise program was to be used as a warm-up for ever training session and  the running exercises in the program for the warm-up for every match.
  • Emphasis was put on improved awareness and neuromuscular control during standing, running, planting, jumping, and landing and quality of movement was encouraged in teaching the warm-up.
  • The program was taught to the coaches of the teams by the researches but the coaches were to remain in contact with researches during the process and fill out weekly data in forms.
  • The warm-up program was as follows:

Table 1 | Revised warm-up exercise programme used to prevent injury in young female footballers

Exercise Repetitions

I. Running exercises, 8 minutes (opening warm up, in pairs; course consists of 6-10 pairs of parallel cones):

Running, straight ahead 2

Running, hip out 2

Running, hip in 2

Running, circling 2

Running and jumping 2

Running, quick run 2

II. Strength, plyometrics, balance, 10 minutes (one of three exercise progression levels each training session):

The plank:

Level 1: both legs 3×20-30 seconds

Level 2: alternate legs 3×20-30 seconds

Level 3: one leg lift 3×20-30 seconds

Side plank:

Level 1: static 3×20-30 seconds (each side)

Level 2: dynamic 3×20-30 seconds (each side)

Level 3: with leg lift 3×20-30 seconds (each side)

Nordic hamstring lower:

Level 1 3-5

Level 2 7-10

Level 3 12-15

Single leg balance:

Level 1: holding ball 2×30 seconds (each leg)

Level 2: throwing ball with partner 2×30 seconds (each leg)

Level 3: testing partner 2×30 seconds (each leg)

Squats:

Level 1: with heels raised 2×30 seconds

Level 2: walking lunges 2×30 seconds

Level 3: one leg squats 2×10 (each leg)

Jumping:

Level 1: vertical jumps 2×30 seconds

Level 2: lateral jumps 2×30 seconds

Level 3: box jumps 2×30 seconds

III. Running exercises, 2 minutes (final warm up)

Running over pitch 2

Bounding run 2

Running and cutting 2

Background –

  • Most common injuries in soccer are related to knee and ankle ligament and thigh muscle strains and women may be at greater risk than men as rate of ACL injures is three to five times higher for girls than boys.

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • The intervention group played 49 899 hours of football (16 057 hours matches and 33 842 hours of practice) and the control group played 45 428 hours (14 342 matches and 31 086 practice).
  • There were 376 injuries during the study – 161 from the intervention group and 215 from the control group. 299 (80%) acute, 77 (20%) overuse. Overall incidence of injuries was 3.9 (SD 0.2) per 1000 player hours (8.1 (SD 0.5) in maches and 1.9 (SD 0.2) in training.
  • The rate ratio for players in intervention group to control group was 0.71 (0.49 to 1.03, p= 0.072) therefore there was significantly lower risk of injuries overall (both overuse and severe) in the intervention group.
  • Compared with control group, fewer players in intervention group had two or more injuries but a reduction in risk of re-injuries did not reach significance.
  • Overall the study showed that the risk of injury in general can be reduced about one third and that severe injuries can be reduced as much as one half.
  • The main injuries that were watched and studied did not show to be significantly reduced by the intervention protocol but secondary outcome variables (including rate of severe injuries, overuse, and total injuries overall) were.
  • Results may be slightly skewed and the protocol may have been more effective if both players and coaches were more compliant to following the protocols with concentration as intended.

Effect of Acute Static Stretch on Maximal Muscle Performance: A Systematic review

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Anthony D. Kay and Anthony J Blazevich   at Sport Exercise & Life Sciences, The University of Northampton, Northampton, UNITED KINGDOM; and School of Exercise, Biomedical & Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA
  • Published  2011 in the Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 154–164, 2012
  • This study was a review of peer reviewed articles including randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials as well as intervention based trials collected from MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, SPORTDiscus, and Zetoc.
  • The review was to comprehensively review if the literature supports the claim that acute stretching has a negative effect on immediate subsequent performance, specifically on strength-, power- and speed dependent tasks.
  • 4550 articles were searched and 106 met the criteria. Last search was conducted on February 16, 2011.
  • Data from articles were taken. The factors taken into account were: stretch duration, muscle group stretched, maximal muscular performance outcome measures and whether significance was reached or not.
  • Research was separated into two groups of stretch duration <30 or 30-45s or either 1-2 or >2min. but only 10 studies included stretching <30s. 25 studies were found for longer duration stretching protocols (30-45s) and most found no reduction in performance.

Background –               

Considerations and Conclusions- 

  • The review found that only stretching lasting longer than 60s ( >60s) caused a negative effect on performance.
  • 55% of articles reviewed showed reduction in performance tasks in question after acute stretch but 69% showed no such reduction.
  • The conflict in finding could be due to studies reporting  effects of acute static stretch on sever variables within same study including: different muscle groups, muscle lengths, contraction modes, contraction velocities, duration of stretch and performance tasks.
  • Most studies focused on lower body so knee flexor/extensor and plantar flexor/extensor strength was examined (being most common) and divided again into studies where stretching lasted ≤45 s and ≥60s. Knee flexors seemed to be more influenced by stretch than the rest showing that test exercises influenced results in some studies. Significant reductions in hand grip strength was shown to decrease from short duration static stretch but chest press 1RM did not.
  • The research shows that these performance variables can be reduced only in total stretch durations lasting longer than 60 s but it is only a “moderate effect” and those lasting less than 45 seconds seem to have no effect on subsequent performance. There is only a minor difference in muscle contraction and no substantial effect of movement velocity.
  • There is a need for effects of short-duration stretches on eccentric strength.

Effect of Acute Static Stretching on Force, Balance, Reaction Time, and Movement Time

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By David G. Behm, Andrew Bambury, Farrell Cahill, and Kevin Power  at School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, CANADA
  • Published Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 36, No. 8, pp. 1397–1402, 2004.
  •  This study was to study effect of acute static stretching on lower limb balance, proprioception, reaction (RT) and movement time (MT).
  • It consisted of sixteen healthy males, university students, (age =24.1 ±7.4 yr, weight =71.5 ±15.4 kg, height =172.3 ± 6.5 cm)
  • This study focused on a moderate volume stretching routine because studies in the past have used prolonged (15-30 min per single muscle groups) in the past which does not represent real world protocols.
  • Subjects had  pre-a and post test which involved a 20 min. period of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC)  force of leg extensors, static balance using a computerized wobble board, reaction and movement time of dominant lower limb, and ability to match 30% and 50% MVC forces with and without visual feedback
  • Subjects first had a warm-up of a 5 min. cycle on a cycle ergometer (Monark Ergomedic 828E0 at 70 rpm with 1-kp resistance.
  • The stretching of the quadriceps, hamstrings and plantar flexors(unilateral kneeling knee flexion (quadriceps), hip flexion with extended leg while supine (hamstrings), extended leg dorsiflexion while standing (stretch of the plantar flexors with gastrocnemius emphasis), and flexed knee dorsiflexion while standing (stretch of the plantar flexors with soleus emphasis)  was then randomized and the stretches were held at “threshold of discomfort” for 45 s with a 15 se recovery period between stretches. The stretching occurred 2 minutes after pretesting and the subjects were allowed to rest 1 min. before posttesting began after the stretching. This was the intervention group.
  • The control condition just performed the 5 min cycle warm-up and then were allowed to rest appx. 26 min. between pre and posttesting – appx the same time it would take for the intervention group to complete all the stretching.
  • The duration of pre- and posttesting for both grips was appx. 20 min.
  • For leg extension MVC, subjects sat on bench with knees and hips flexed at 90 degrees and ankle was inserted into high tension wire to a Wheatston bridge configuration strain gauge.
  • 3 minutes was allowed in between contractions.
  • Subjects were asked to exert sufficient isometric leg extension force over a 5-s period to match the gridlines. Visual feedback was always given for the first three trials of a particular relative force (30% or 50% MVC), while the computer screen was obstructed from view for the subsequent three trials.

Background- 

  • Acute changes in MTU length, stiffness, force output and muscle activation (those effects theorized from stretching) could  alter ability to detect (afferent proprioception) and respond (efferent muscle activation) to changes in immediate environment.
  • At this time, this was the only study that addressed the effect of stretching on balance, proprioception or reaction/movement time.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Isometric force production was not significantly reduced after stretching in this study like it has been shown in some other studies and the researchers propose that this may be due to the moderate stretching routine as opposed to the long duration of other studies.
  • There was no significant difference in MVC with stretch and control conditions but there was in balance (P <0.009) ( decrease 9.2%) compared with control (increase 17.3) and reaction time (P <0.01)  from 4.0% and 1.9% in the stretch protocol to 5.8% and 5.7% in the control.

Effect of Specific Inspiratory Muscle Warm-Up on Intense Intermittent Run to Exhaustion

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Tom K. Tong and Frank H. Fu at Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
  • Published Eur J Appl Physiol (2006) 97: 673–680 DOI 10.1007/s00421-006-0233-6
  •  This study was to examine the effects of inspiratory muscle (IM) arm up on maximum dynamic IM function and max reps of 20-m shuttle run in Yo-Yo intermitted recovery test
  • The study involved 10 health young males who played various sports including soccer, rugby, etc.
  • Before testing forced spirometry and aerobic capacity were assessed.
  • Subjects were to perform identical maximum dynamic IM function test and Yo-Yo intermittend test in three conditions. This was the randomly
  • The three conditions were:1) without IM warm up (control) 2 and 3) with IM warm up by performing  two sets of 30 breaths with inspiratory pressure-threshold equivalent to 15% (IMWp) and same with  40% (IMW ) maximum inspiratory mouth pressure.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • This suggests that specific IM warm-up in IMW may entail reduction breathlessness sensation, partly attributable to the enhancement of dynamic IM functions, in subsequent exhaustive intermittent run and, in turn, improve the exercise tolerance.

Effect of Various Warm-Up Devices on Bat Velocity of Intercollegiate Softball Players

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By DAVID J. SZYMANSKI,1 KYLIE E. BASSETT,1 ERIK J. BEISER,1 MEGAN E. TILL,1 GREG L. MEDLIN,1 JASON R. BEAM,2 AND COOP DERENNE3 at 1Department of Kinesiology, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana; 2Department of Health, Exercise, and Sports Science, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and 3Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Manoa, Hawaii
  • Published in J Strength Cond Res 26(1): 199–205, 2012
  •  This study was to examine the best warm up device to produce the greatest bat velocity for softball players.
  • It included 19 D1 intercollegiate softball players. Mean age 19.8 ± 1.2 years, mean height 167.0  ± 4.7 cm, mean weight 69.2 ± 8.6 kg, lean body mass 49.6 ± 3.6 kg, % bodyfat 27.9 ± 5.9
  • The subjects performed a warm up with 1 of 8 resistance devices on separate days. Each of 8 testing sessions began with a dynamic warm up, 3 maximal dry swings with assigned warm up device, 2 comfortable dry wings with standard 83.8 cm, 652-g (33 in, 23 oz) softball bat followed by 3 max game swings (20 seconds rest between swings)
  • Bat velocity (BV) was measured by a Setpro (SPRT5A) chronograph and recorded in meters per second.
  • The warm up devices included: standard Louisville Slugger TPS 83.8 cm, 652 g (33 in., 23 oz) aluminum softball bat, 6 overweighted implements that included 2 new products on the market, and 1 lighter bat.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • The 1 x 3 repeated measures ANOVAs indicated no significant differences in bat velocity between the 3 swings with standard game bat after any of the warm up devices.
  • These findings are similar to male baseball players indicating that effects are similar.
  • It is recommended no to use a donut ring as this produced the most negative effect and that excessively light or heavy implements should not be used.

Effect of Various Warm-Up Protocols on Jump Performance in College Football Players

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Jeffrey C. Pagaduan , Haris Pojskić, Edin Užičanin, Fuad Babajić at College of Human Kinetics, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Philippines.and Faculty of Physical Education and Sport,Tuzla University, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Published in the Journal of Human Kinetics volume 35/2012, 127-132 DOI:10.2478/v10078-012-0086-5
  •  This study was to assess the effects of warm-up strategies on countermovement jumps in college football players (mean age 19.4 ± 1.1 years; mean height 179.0 ± 5.1 cm; mean weight 73.1 ± 8.0 kg; mean body fat 11.1 ± 2.7%) from Tuzla University who all had 6.5 ± 2.1 years of competitive experience and participated in 10 hours per week of football training and 3 hour per week in strength and conditioning.
  • All tests were done from 8-10am and sessions were separated by 48 hours.
  • There was 7 days of testing the first being just for anthropometric measures. The rest of the warm-up protocols were as follows:

1)      Done on day 2 – general warm-up

2)      General warm-up with dynamic stretching

3)      General warm-up, dynamic stretching, and passive stretching

4)      Passive static stretching

5)      Passive static stretching and general warm-up

6)      Passive static stretching, general warm up and dynamic stretching 

Effect of Warm-Up and Flexibility Treatments On Vertical Jump Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By J. Brian Church, Matthew S. Wiggins, F. Michael Moode, and Randall Crist at Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky 42071.
  • Published in the J. Strength Cond. Res. 15(3):332–336. 2001.
  •  This study was to determine effect of 3 different warm-up protocols on vertical jump performance
  • 3 vertical jumps were taken averaged, and recorded from a Just Jump system before and after warm-up protocols to compare heights and participants were allowed to take a 1-step approach to incorporate SSC. A sit and reach test was also taken pre- and post.
  • 40 female NCAA Division 1 athletes volunteered (tennis, rowing, volleyball, jumpers, throwers, and sprinters) ages 18-22 years (mean 20.3 ± 16 years)
  • The subjects performed one of three warm up routines on 3 nonconsecutive days
  • The routines were as follows:

1)      General warm-up only – familiar bodyweight circuit of 10 exercises each performed for 20 seconds. The ywent from less to more vigorous and the rest between exercise was 10 seconds. The entire warm-up lasted 5 minutes.

2)      General warm-up (same as above) and static stretching focusing on hamstrings and quads (side quad stretch, semistraddle kneeling quad stretch, butterfly, sitting toe touch, and forward lunge)

3)      General warm-up (same as above)  and PNF (contract-relax agonist –contract (CRAC) – of hamstrings and quads. A partner stretched the muscle to tightness, the subject then isometriclly the antagonist muscle for 10 seconds followed by an isometric contraction of the agonist muscle for another 10 seconds followed by another passive stretch of the antagonist muscle. Repeated 3 times for each muscle group.

Background-

  • Research has shown that increased joint mobility from acute stretching effects may cause injury due to decreased joint stability
  • Studies have also shown that flexibility increases may have more to do with increased muscle temp than decrease in stiffness of muscle tendon unit (MTU).
  • The decreased force production that may be caused due to stretching has been attributed to increased slack in the tendon by Rosenbaum and Hennig, meaning that the muscle contracts but it takes a short amount of time before this slack is taken up.
  • Static stretching is believed to reduce natural contraction of muscle when it is taken to ROM extremes quickly (the myogenic reflex) which in turn creates a more relaxed MTU capable of greater ROM.

Considerations and Conclusions-

There was a significant reduction in performance with PNF as compared to the other protocols (p<0.05)

  • There was no significant increase in flexibility in any protocols (p = 0.44).

Effect of Warm-Up Exercise on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By KAZUKI TAKIZAWA1, TOSHIO SOMA2, KAZUNORI NOSAKA3, TOMOJI ISHIKAWA4, & KOJIRO ISHII at 1Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, 2Department of Physical Therapy, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Niigata, Japan, 3School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia, 4Department of Health and Sports, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Niigata, Japan, and 5Faculty of Health and Sports Science, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan
  • Published 22 Aug 2011  European Journal of Sport Science, 12:6, 455-461
  • This study was conducted to determine muscle temp. after warm-up exercise and to test hypothesis that repetitive submaximal concentric contractions before eccentric exercise would reduce extend of DOMS and the decrease in muscle strength of elbow flexors maximal eccentric strength.
  • The study included ten male college students (mean age 18.8 ± 0.5 years, mean height 173.6 ± 6.1 cm, mean weight 62.3 ± 7.9 kg) who were physically active and played recreational sports but who had not been in resistance program for at least 6 months.
  • Participants performed two bouts of eccentric exercise of elbow flexors with warm-up exercise for one arm (warm-up group) and without warm-up exercise (control) for opposite arm separated by 4 weeks. The use of dominant and non-dominant arms was randomized and counterbalanced. This was taken before and after warm-up exercise.
  • Temperature of biceps brachii was taken (with deep body thermometer) and muscle activity was assessed by EMG was taken and recorded before warm-up, after warm-up and every 24 hours for 5 days following exercise.
  • Warm-up consisted of 100 concentric contractions of elbow flexors based on studies of Nosaka & Clarkson, 1997)
  • An isokinetic dynamometer was used to measure two maximal voluntary isometric contractions for 5 s with a 60-s rest between contractions and the warm-up exercise was completed 5 min. before eccentric exercise.
  • Muscle soreness of biceps brachii was also assessed afterward by visual analogue scale consisting of a 100-mm line with “no pain” at one end and “extremely sore” at other while applying pressure to the muscle.

Considerations and Conclusions-                             

  • Muscle temp. of biceps brachii was 34.8 ± 0.1 ◦C before warm-up and increased significantly (P <0.01) to 35.8 ± 0.2 ◦C after warm-up and immediately before eccentric exercise pre-exercise muscle temp was significantly higher (P <0.01) for warm-up than for control 34.4 ± 0.2 ◦C
  • There was no significant change in %iEMG between control and warm-up or over time.
  • Muscle soreness developed after eccentric exercise and peaked 2-3 days after no differences in soreness was observed between control and warm-up
  • MVC was not significantly different between groups and decrease on average in both by 25.8 ± 3.4% immediately after exercise and was lower than baseline by 18.4 ± 4.2% 5 days post exercise
  • Warm-up increased muscle temp by 1.4 ◦C but has no effect on reducing decreased muscle activity or decreasing DOMS in eccentric exercise for elbow flexors.
  • Nosaka and Clarkson (1997) had shown that it did decrease DOMS but the same warm-p protocols were  used in this study and the results were not reproduced.

Effect of  Warm-Up on the Standing Broad Jump in Trained and Untrained Men and Women

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By ALEXANDER J. KOCH,1 HAROLD S. O’BRYANT,2 MARGARET E. STONE,3 KIM SANBORN,2 CHRISTOPHER PROULX,2 JOE HRUBY,2 ELIZABETH SHANNONHOUSE,2 RHONDA BOROS,2 AND MICHAEL H. STONE41 at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri 63501; 2Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608; 3Carmichael Training Systems, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909; 4United States Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.
  • Published in J. Strength Cond. Res. 17(4):710–714. 2003.
  •  This study was to determine the effect of 3 warm-up routines on standing broad jump (SBJ) performance
  • The study included Thirty-two subjects (16 men, 16 women). Twenty-one of the subjects (8 men, 13 women) were apparently healthy college students enrolled in a weight-training class (6 weeks) and were considered untrained. The remaining subjects (8 men, 3 women) were sprinters and jumpers from the University’s NCAA division I track and field team and had a history of strength training for several years. The mean age for subjects was 20 ± 3 years, mean weight 73.92 ± 11.02 kg, mean height 172 ± 9 cm and 1RM squat = 93.2 ± 37.kg
  • 1RM was tested and the subjects were experienced in squatting.
  • Their broad jump was also tested and recorded and tested again on 4 separate days after 1 or 4 warm-up routines. Each test session was separated by 3 days.
  • 3 broad jump trials were tested after each warm-up routine in rapid succession. This was done immediately after the warm-up routines and then again 15 minutes after again.
  • The warm up routines were as follows:

1)      High-force (HF) warm-up  – sets of low rep squats performed at relative high % 1RM (1 x 3 of 50, 75 and 87.5% of 1RM) 3 minutes rest was given between sets.

2)      High Power Warm-Up (HP) low rep speed squats ( 1 x 3 at 20,30, and 40% 1RM) 3 minutes rest between sets.

3)      Stretching Warm-up (ST) consisted of 8 minutes of various static stretching exercises performed with 10 second holds (standing toe touch, standing quadriceps stretch, seated toe touch, seated quadriceps stretch)

4)      No activity warm-up (NA) – 8 minutes quiet sitting followed by 3 initial jumps, resting again for 15 minutes and then 3 additional jumps(post-test).

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • T tests showed significantly higher 1RM squats for men vs. women (p< 0.001) and athletes vs. non –athletes (p < 0.001). The same was true for other tests. The trained women were as strong as the untrained men.
  • None of the warm up routines produced significant increases in broad jump performance (p = 0.157) but a strong correlation (R= 0.805) was found between 1RM squat and SBJ.

Effect of Warm-Ups Involving Static or Dynamic Stretching on Agility, Sprinting and Jumping Performance in Trained Individuals

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By ANIS CHAOUACHI,1 CARLO CASTAGNA,2 MOKTAR CHTARA,1 MATT BRUGHELLI,3 OLFA TURKI,1 OLIVER GALY,4 KARIM CHAMARI,1 AND DAVID G. BEHM 5 at 1Tunisian Research Laboratory ‘‘Sport Performance Optimization’’, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia; 2School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 3School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup,Western Australia, Australia; 4Laboratory Actes-Physiology, Noumea, New Caledonia; and 5School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada A1C 5S7
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 24(8): 2001–2011, 2010
  • This study was to investigate effects of static and dynamic stretching alone and then in combination with each other on subsequent agility, sprinting, and jump performance.
  • It involved twenty two highly trained male student athletes (elite athletes from different professional teams or individual sports of nation first division of Tunis) pursuing exercise science and physical ed. Degrees from University of Sports of Tunisia. The mean age was 20.6  ± 1.2 years, average height 179.4 ± 6 cm, lean weight 71.9 ± 8.1 kg, mean % bodyfat 10.6 ± 2.9%.
  • The subjects had 10 sessions (48 hrs apart) including a 2 part orientation session in which they were familiarized with the stretching exercise and performance tests.
  • The subjects started with a 5 min general warm up then performed one of the stretching conditions, then did a 5 min specific explosive warm up followed by a 2 min rest interval before performing one of 4 tests: sprint, countermovement jump, agility, 5-jump
  • Subjects performed at least a 5-minute self-paced general warm-up (EG1) consisting of low- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise including 3 minutes of forward jogging, 1 minute of sidestepping, and 1 minute of jogging backwards, followed by 10 minutes of a designated stretching protocol (or 10 minutes of rest for the control group) before completing a specific explosive warm-up (EG2) consisting of 5- to 7- minute incremental intermittent sprint and agility runs. These sprint and agility runs included three-quarter pace running: 10-m forwards, repeated twice; 10-m sidestepping, repeated 5 times; 30-m forward, repeated 3 times, a set of 8 single hop jumps, and a set of 8 alternate leg bounds (side hop), repeated twice; and 45-m forward run with 5 3 90changes of directions, repeated twice. Intensity was then increased: three-quarter pace for 10 m and full pace for 20 m, repeated twice, and full pace for 30 m. This type of explosive warm up after stretching has been shown to cause minimal decrements to power-based performance
  • The stretches consisted of 4 different exercises to stretch plantar flexors, hip flexors, hamstrings, hip extensors, and adductors.
  • Eight different stretching protocols: (a) static stretch (SS) to point of discomfort (POD); (b) SS less than POD (SS,POD); (c) dynamic stretching (DS);(d) SS POD combined with DS (SS POD + DS); (v) SS,POD combined with DS (SS,POD + DS); (vi) DS combined with SS POD (DS + SS POD); (vii) DS combined with SS,POD (DS + SS,POD); and (viii) a control warm-up condition without stretching were implemented with a prior aerobic warm-up and followed by dynamic activities.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • No stretching program with any intensity negatively affected these elite athletes who were nonsprint-trained.
  • The control condition (4.2 6 0.15 seconds) showed significant differences (p = 0.05) for faster times than the DS + SS,POD (4.28s 6 0.17) condition in the 30-m (1.9%) sprint. There were no other significant differences. The lack of stretch-induced impairments may be attributed to the trained state of the participants or the amount of time used after stretching before the performance. Participants were either professional or national level elite athletes who trained 6–8 times a week with each session lasting ;90 minutes.
  • Based on these findings and the literature, trained individuals who wish to implement static stretching should include an adequate warm-up and dynamic sport specific activities with at least 5 or more minutes of recovery before their sport activity.

Effectiveness of Different Post Activation Potentiation Protocols With and Without Whole Body Vibration on Jumping Performance In College Athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Fernando Naclerio1 Avery D. Faigenbaum2 Eneko Larumbe-Zabala3 Nicholas A. Ratamess2 Jie Kang2 Paul Friedman2 Ryan E. Ross2 at 1 Centre of Sports Sciences and Human Performance, School of Sciences, Greenwich University (UK) 2 Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ 08628 3 Department of motor and Training European University of Madrid (Spain)
  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Publish Ahead of Print DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318295d7fb
  • This study examined acute effects of different parallel squat post activation potentiation protocols with and without whole body vibration on jumping performance in college athletes
  • It involved fifteen male athletes (8 American football players and 7 baseball players). Their mean age was 20.3 ± 1.3 years, mean height 179.50 ± 5.3 cm, mean weight 81.0 ± 10.8 kg with at least 2 yrs resistance training experience and no experience with whole body vibration protocols.
  • It was a randomized repeated measures counter balanced design where participants served as their own controls.
  • The subjects each came in for 19 different sessions
  • The subjects first performed either 3 sets of 3 (high volume protocol) or  1 set of 3 (low volume protocol) of either parallel squat with 80% of max without vibration (NV-PS) parallel squat with 80% of max on whole body vibration platform (WBV-PS) (1.963 mm amplitude and 40 Hz) or a control.
  • Each time 3 countermovement jump and the best drop jump was performed to see effects of conditions.

Background-

  • Whole body vibration plates increase the gravitational load on subject while exercise or standing on it.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Significant improvements were observed for countermovement jump height after 4 min. recovery using low volume regardless of condition
  • For the whole body vibration protocol, a significantly lower drop jump height was observed after 1 min. following both low and high volume.
  • PAP may be specific to the movement it is trying to improve which would explain why a squat would help a countermovement jump

Effects Of Differential Stretching Protocols During Warm-Ups On High-Speed Motor Capacities in Professional Soccer Players

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Thomas Little and Alun G. Williams at 1Sport, Health, and Exercise, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, UK; 2Institute for Biophysical and Clinical Research into Human Movement, Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsager, UK.
  • Published J. Strength Cond. Res. 20(1):203–207. 2006.
  • This study was to examine effects of different modes of stretching within a pre-exercise warm-up on high speed motor capacities such as countermovement vertical jump, stationary 10-m sprint, flying 20-m spring, and agility performance of professional soccer players.
  • There were 3 different warm-ups and they included – static stretching, dynamic stretching, or no stretching.
  • The study consisted of eighteen pro soccer players from  Enlgish League Premier Division Club tested during the 2001-02 season.
  • They performed 3 different warm-up protocols on 3 nonconsecutive days (at least 48 hours after match or hard training) all within 1 week.
  • Before any of the warm-up protocols were implemented the subjects performed 4 minutes of general warm-up including: 2 minutes of jogging, 1 minute of sidestepping and back jogging, and 1 minute of further jogging.
  • Then they performed 6 minutes and 20 seconds of static stretching or dynamic stretching except for in the no stretch protocol. The gastrocnemius, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, gluteals , and adductors were all stretched in the static protocol. A 20 second rest was allowed between each stretch. All static stretches were held for 30 seconds each leg within pain threshold. The dynamic stretches was performed for 60 seconds at a rate of appx. 1 stretch cycle every 2 seconds of unilaterally for 30 seconds. The dynamic stretches included the backward run (for quads) lateral lunge (for adductors) drop lunge (for gluteals) and straight-leg march (for hamstrings) and heel to toe walk (for gastrocnemius).
  • The non stretch protocol just rested for 1 minute after general warm-up before performing the tests.
  • 2 minutes rest was given between each trial and test

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • There was no significant difference in any of the  warm-up protocols for vertical jump (p= 0.074)
  • There was no significant different in any warm-up protocols for acceleration but dynamic stretching resulted in a significantly superior performance  p= 0.025 than no stretching
  • Static and dynamic stretching was significantly better for maximal speed (20 m test) than no stretching (p < 0.0005.
  • Dynamic stretching resulted in a significantly better performance than static stretching and no stretching for the agility drills (p <0.0001).
  • These findings indicate that static stretching does not have negative influence on high-speed performance at least in pro soccer players.
  • Dynamic stretching was only shown to produce better performance than static stretching in only 1 of the 4 tests (agility) but dynamic stretching resulted in the best scores of all the tests so it still seems optimal to warm up like this.
  • The authors state that past research that indicates static stretching decreases subsequent performance may be flawed because the researchers stretched muscles for much longer periods of time and at intensities that would not be used in the real world. By using 30 second stretch durations  the researchers say that they avoided any negative effects of  static stretching.

Effects of dynamic and static stretching within general and activity specific warm-up protocols

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Michael Samson 1, Duane C. Button 1, Anis Chaouachi 2 and David G. Behm 1 at 1 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada 2 Research Unit ”Evaluation, Sport, Health” National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports, Tunis, Tunisia
  • Published Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2012) 11, 279-285 (http://www.jssm.org)
  • This study was to determine effects of static and dynamic stretching within general and activity specific warm-ups.
  • Nine males (mean age 27.8 ± 8.4 years, mean weight 90.6 ± 11.1 kg, mean height 1.79 ± 0.06 m) and 10 females (mean age 22.2 ± 3.3 years, mean weight 55.8 ± 5.2 kg, mean height 1.65 ± 0.08 m) who were university students and regularly trained either aerobically or with weights and were active in recreational and competitive sports volunteered for the study. The subjects had participated in squash, hockey, resistance training and cross-country running with a frequency ranging from 3-5 days per week and 45-90 minutes per session.
  • Subjects went under four different warm-up conditions and were then tested in: 1) a movement for time(MT) (kicking movement of leg over 0.5 m distance) 2) countermovement jump height, 3)sit and reach flexibility and 4) 6 reps of 20 meter sprints – in that order performed 3 minutes following interventions (post-warm-up). MT was measured with a contact mat and a light gate apparatus. The subject was to activate the timer by touching their foot to the contact mat and then immediately flex the hip with maximal acceleration in a kicking motion through a light gate set at 0.5 meters from the mat. This test was utilized to simulate the forward stride during the sprint action. Data was collected using the Innervations © Kinematic Measurement System, (v. 2004.2.0)
  • The four warm-up conditions were as follows:

1)      General warm-up with dynamic stretch – run on a 200 meter track for 5 minutes maintaining HR of 70% of age predicted max HR (monitored by Polar A1 HR monitor) then do dynamic stretching which included 3 sets of 30 seconds each of hip extension/ flexion, adduction/abduction with fully extended legs, trunk  circles and passive ankle rotation. These were done not exceeding point of discomfort or pain threshold.

2)      General and specific warm-up with dynamic stretch – followed same general warm-up protocol as above but included sport specific warm up in random order of high knees, skipping, high knee running, and butt kicks performed over a 20 meter distance and repeated twice before moving onto next task.

3)      General warm-up with static stretch – same guidelines for general warm up but static stretches were implemented with no subsequent specific warm-up activities (running and skipping). They performed these in random order – supine partner assisted hamstring stretch, kneeling partner assisted quadriceps stretch, seated partner assisted low back stretch, and standing wall supported calf stretch with other leg in dorsiflexion. All stretches were repeated for 3 sets of 30 seconds and held at point of mild discomfort.

4)      General and specific warm-up with static stretch – included the same general warm-up followed by the specific warm-up used in condition 2 and the static stretching from condition 3

Background-

  • Research is unclear but seems to indicate that performing dynamic or specific warm ups after static stretching can reverse any bad effects that it may have (although it is unclear if there are any). The authors suggest that static stretching can have its place for sports and activities that require static flexibility such as wrestling, martial arts, gymnastics etc.(as long as it is followed by dynamic warm-up) because dynamic stretching does not improve static flexibility as static stretching does.

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • Sport specific warm-up improved 20 meter sprint time 0.94% (p=0.0013) regardless of dynamic and static stretching.
  • No additional difference was seem between the dynamic and static stretch groups when the sport specific warm-up was not included.
  • The static stretch groups did improve in ROM for sit and reach test by 2.8% (p=0.0083).
  • Results indicated that static stretching is better to develop static ROM and that the addition of a specific dynamic warm-up is the key component for increasing performance even when static stretching is included in the beginning.

Effects Of Dynamic Warm-Up on Lower Body Explosiveness Among Collegiate Baseball Players

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Travis L. Frantz and Matthew D. Ruiz at Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Huntington University, Huntington, Indiana
  • J Strength Cond Res 25(11): 2985–2990, 2011
  • This study was to compare dynamic and static warm-ups on lower body explosiveness (vertical jump and standing long jump) in collegiate baseball players
  • The participants included 25 collegiate baseball players from a Midwestern liberal arts university but because of injury and scheduling only 17 players were included in final results. Mean age – 19.59 ± 1.37 mean height – 181.55 ± 6.04 (5 ft 11.47 ± 2.38 in.) mean weight – 81.51 ± 9.32 kg (179.70 ± 20.55 lb).
  • The study lasted 7 weeks and in this time the players progressed through 3 different warm-ups (dynamic warm-up, static warm-up and no warm-up –control) each week with the 4th week being a rest period. Each warm-up condition was tested twice on separate occasions before and after the rest period.
  • Weeks 1-5 tested dynamic warm-up each week in the evening, weeks 2-6 tested static warm-up weeks 3-7 tested no warm up with week 4 being the rest week.
  • Immediately after the warm-ups, vertical jump (with Just Jump System) and long jump were tested each one time at maximal effort. Duration or warm-up and testing was appx. 10-20 minutes.
  • The dynamic warm up included in order: the forward lunge with forearm in opposite instep, backward lunge with rotation, jackknife (inchworm), knee to chest, toe touch, straight leg march, straight leg march with skipping, lateral shuffle with countermovement, lateral leg swings, straight leg swings, hip rockers, reverse hip rockers, inverted hamstring, lunge fast, carioca short, carioca long, falling starts, backpedal with a turn, and backpedal with 2 lateral turns.
  • The static warm-up included in order: standing hamstring stretch to right left and middle, standing quadriceps stretch on right and left, calf stretch to right and left, deep side lunge to right and left, calf stretch to right and left, deep side lunge to right and left, squatting butterfly stretch, sitting figure-4 stretch to right and left, and laying quadriceps stretch to right and left.

Considerations and Conclusions –

  • The mean jump height for Vertical jump after dynamic warm up was – 66.49 ± 8.28 cm, for static warm up – 61.42 ± 7.51 cm, for control – 62.72 ± 7.84
  • Mean jump distance for long jump after dynamic warm up was – 231.99 ± 20.69, , for static warm up – 219.69 ± 20.96 cm, for control – 226.46 ± 20.60
  • Results show that dynamic warm up increases performance in both vertical jump and standing long jump
  • Results also show that static warm up increased performance in vertical jump but decreased performance in standing long jump.

Effects Of Functional Exercises In The Warm-Up On Sprint Performances

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By ANDRE SANDER,1 MICHAEL KEINER,2 ANDREAS SCHLUMBERGER,3 KLAUS WIRTH,4
  • AND DIETMAR SCHMIDTBLEICHER4 at 1German Bobsleigh and Luge Association, Berchtesgaden, Germany; 2Athletic Coach, Frankfurt, Germany; 3Borussia Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany; and 4Institute of Sport Sciences, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, German
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 27(4): 995–1001, 2013
  • This study was to determine if functional exercises included in a warm up program actually increased sprint performance in elite youth soccer players between the ages of 13-18
  • The participants included 121 elite youth soccer players from 2 German professional sport clubs in the age-groups U14 to U19 ( mean age – 15.1 years, mean height – 170.9 cm, mean weight – 62.3 kg
  • The subjects were broken up into two groups – One group (65 people) completed the NWP first and the WPS 4 days later while the second group (56 people) completed the WPS first and NWP 4 days later
  •  The NWP group consisted of 5 minutes of nonspecific running then coordination exercises(running with knees lifted, heeling, and side step) followed by a 3 minute dynamic stretching of lower body followed by  3 acceleration runs over appx. 50 m with short intervening walking breaks.
  • The WPS group included the same warm-up with the functional exercises done between the dynamic stretching and acceleration runs. The trunk stabilization exercises consisted of 4 exercises in 3 sets different for each age group (U14 to U19)
  • U16 to U 19 performed: prone kneeling exercise (8 reps each side) forearm bridging (8 reps each side) lateral bridging with alternative leg flexion and extension (8 reps each side)
  • U14 to U15 performed: prone kneeling exercise (8 reps ea.) crunches (8 reps each) bridging both legs with alternate routes of legs (6 reps) an lateral bridging with hip abduction (90 degree angle 8 reps each)
  • Sprint tests were done after these warm-up protocols: 30 m linear sprint (Time was measured in linear sprint after 5,10,15,20,25, and 30 m) and change of direction sprint (equilateral triangle (60 degree angle) each side being 5m) of appx. 10 m in total with two changes of direction.
  • 3 measurements were taken for each sprint test.

Background-

  • Improved performance from general active warm-up is partly related to increased muscle temperature but not related to an elevated core temperature – the sweat glands work to counteract this in the body.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • The study indicates that subjects were significantly faster at all measure distances in the linear sprint with the NWP program over the WPS program but there were only small to moderate effects.
  • There was no difference in results for either program in the change of direction test.
  • It was concluded that the functional exercises provide no added benefit to sprint performance.
  • The core musculature could already be activated through a general warm up including high knees because of the hip flexion.
  • The authors suggest that sprint performance may not be affected much by activation of the core anyway because other research shows low to moderate correlations between sprint performance and strength of trunk muscles.

Effects of running, static stretching and practice jumps on explosive force production and jumping performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  W.B. Young and D.G. Behm  at School ofHuman Movement and Sport Sciences University ofBallarat, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia 2School ofHuman Kinetics and Recreation Memorial University ofNewfoundland, St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada
  • Published JSPORTS MED PHYS FITNESS 2003;43:21-7
  • This study was to investigate effects of running, static stretching of leg extensors, and of practice jumps on explosive force production and jumping performance.
  • The participants included thirteen males and four females (although one of the females could not be used  in the findings because she could not be stretched to pain threshold ) This left the sample size of only 16 subjects – thirteen male and 3 females who all had some experience with weight training and explosive type activity. The mean age was – 26 ± 8.5 years, mean height – 175.0 ± 9.2 cm, mean weight 76.6 ± 12.5 kg.
  • The subjects came in 6 different times, the first time being a familiarization with protocol and the rest being one of five different warm-up protocols performed on different occasions 6-72 hours apart in a randomized order. The five warm up protocols were: 1) control 2) run 3) static stretch 4) run + stretch 5) run + stretch + practice jumps. After this the subjects rested by standing for 2 min. before doing two jumping tests (concentric jump and drop jump) in random order.
  • The conditions for the warm-up protocols are as follows:

Control – walk at comfortable pace for 3 min. then perform 5 squats and 5 heel raises

Run – run for 4 min. at a pace that made them feel warm enough to start sweating

Stretch – included four exercises held for 30 sec. alternating each leg a total of 2 min per leg to stretch ankle plantar flexors and quadriceps

Run + stretch – combo of two protocols above in this order

Run + stretch + jumps – combo of two protocols above in that order with practice jumps of two  jumping tests immediately after. This included 3 warm up/practice jumps – 1 at app.x 80% and 3 at 100% or maximum effort.

  • The protocol for the two jump tests were as follows:

Concentric Jump –  uses a 10 kg bar on shoulders on a modified smith machine. A Kisterl force platform operating at 1000 Hz measured the force generated by participant during push off phase of jump. The peak force and maximum rate of force developed (RFD) over 5 msec samples during ascending portion of curve were recorded as explosive force production variables

Subjects held static squat position (100 degrees of knee flexion) for 2 seconds before jumping as high as possible

Drop Jump –  performed from a (0.30 m) box. Subjects kept hands on hips  and jumped off box with a straight leg and then jump as high as possible to test ground contact times. The height and contact time was asses by contact mat system (Swift Performance Equipment)

  • EMG was also taken from groups  who stretched and placed appx. 2 cm over mid-belly of rectus femoris, lateral gastrocnemius, and superior triceps surae- Achilles tendon intersection for soleus.

Background-

  • Previous studies have found that static stretching causes a reduce in performance for power activities but the protocols used are far more excessive than a real world stretching warm up routine and this study was done to see if running and jumping helped offset the detrimental effects of pre-activity stretching on subsequent force production and jump performance.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • EMG analysis showed a reduction in muscle activity corresponding to the performance in the run + stretch condition compared to the run warm-up
  • Generally the run and run + stretch + jump warm-ups produced  best explosive force and jumping performances and the stretch warm-up always produced the lowest values.
  • There was no significant difference between control and run + stretch warm up but the run warm up showed significantly better scores than the run + stretch warm up for drop jump height (3.2%), concentric jump height (3.4%) and peak concentric force (2.7%) and rate of roce developed (15.4%).

Effects of Six Warm-Up Protocols on Sprint and Jump Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Rheba E. Vetter  at Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Department, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville,Missouri 64468.
  • Published J. Strength Cond. Res. 21(3):819–823. 2007.
  • This study was to compare effects of 6 different warm up protocols, with and without stretching on 2 different power maneuvers – 30 m sprint run and vertical countermovement jump
  • The 6 warm-up protocols included:

1)      Walk plus run – 4 min. walk and 2 min. jog/run – 6 min total (WR)

2)      Walk plus run plus exercise series – 10 toe raises , high knee lift marching for 20 steps, buttocks kick marching for 20 steps, 10 small jumps – this entire sequence was repeated for 3 times. (EJ)

3)      Walk run plus dynamic active stretch series (DAEJ)

4)      Walk run plus dynamic active stretch (DA)

5)      Walk run plus static stretch plus exercise series (SSEJ)

6)      Walk run plus static stretch (SS)

  • The participants included twenty six active college men (14) and women (12) who exercises a minimum of 30 minutes 3-5 times a week and were a mixture of current or previous athletes who remained active.
  • The study lasted 15 days and there was a total of 7 data collection sessions (the first being familiarization) appx. 48-72 hours apart. The warm-up protocol  immediately followed each warm-up protocol.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • The fastest and highest of 3 trials was taken for the jump and sprint trials.
  • There was no significant relationship between gender and protocol for countermovement jump
  • The study indicated that static stretching may negatively impact jump performance but no spring time.
  • WR protocol produced higher jumps than did SS and DAEJ produced higher jumps than SS

Effects of Static Dynamic Stretching on Sprint and Jump Performance in Boys and Girls

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Giorgos P. Paradisis, Apostolοs Theodorou, Panagiotis Pappas, Elias Zacharogiannis, Emmanouil Skordilis and Athanasia Smirniotou at Athletics Sector, Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Ethn. Antistasis 41, Dafni, Athens, 172 37, Greece
  • Published Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Publish Ahead of Print DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318295d2fb
  • This study examined the effects of static and dynamic stretching one explosive power, flexibility and sprinting ability of adolescent boys and girls and report possible gender interactions
  • A within-subject experimental design was used with all subjects performing a no stretch, dynamic stretch and static stretch protocol.
  • Pre and post testing for evaluation of jumping performance and flexibility was done using 20m sprint, countermovement jump, and sit and reach tests.
  • The data was collected across 6 test sessions separated by a 48-72 hour interval
  • The subjects performed a 5 min warm up, the pre-testing, one of the stretching protocols and then the post testing.
  • Subjects included 75 active adolescent boys and girls mean age 14.6 ± 1.7 years, mean weight 62.8 ± 12.4 kg, mean height 1.68 ± 0.12 m, mean body fat 19.95 ± 6.16% with experience in sports average of 2.0 ± 0.86 years.
  • Both the static and dynamic stretching protocol was for 40 s on quadriceps, hamstrings, hip extensors and plantar flexors.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Static stretching hindered CMJ in boys 2.5% and 6.3% in girls
  • Dynamic stretching had no effect on 20m in boys and girls but impaired CMJ by 2.2%
  • Both static and dynamic stretching improved flexibility, static stretching increasing flexibility by 12.1% with dynamic stretching only increased flexibility by 6.5%. No gender interaction was found.
  • Dynamic stretching  reduced CMJ performance as well but had no effect on sprint performance

Effects of Static Stretching For 30 Second and Dynamic Stretching On Leg Extension Power

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Yamaguchi, Taichi; Ishii, Kojiro at Laboratory of Human Performance and Fitness, Graduate School of Education, Hokkaido
  • Published The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2006, 19(3): 677-683
  • This study examined if static stretching for 30 seconds does not reduce muscular performance and if dynamic stretching does indeed enhance muscular performance.
  • The effects on muscular performance was determined using leg extension power as an index of muscular performance.
  • It involved eleven healthy college male students mean age 22.8 ± .8 years, mean height 173.3 ± 1.1 cm, mean weight 65.9 ± 3.0 kg.
  • The subjects  performed static stretching, dynamic stretching, and non-stretching protocols in a randomized order on spate days before testing leg extension power.
  • The target muscles for both stretching protocols included the plantar flexors, hip extensors, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps femoris. Total duration for stretching and non-stretching was set at 500 seconds.
  • Leg extension power was measured by a leg extension power measurement system (Combi, Anaero Press 3500,) where the subjects’ waist and ankles were fastened by Velcro straps and both feet were on a footplate.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Static stretching for 30 seconds did not show reduction in power as compared to non-stretch tests as was hypothesized and dynamic did increase power as was hypothesized.
  • Guissard et al. showed that stretching for 30 seconds showed a reduction in neuromuscular activity during the stretch but also showed that it was immediately restored afterwards.

Effects of Stretching on Maximal Anaerobic Power: The Roles of Active and Passive Warm-Ups

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  EMILIANO CE ` ,1,2 VITTORIA MARGONATO,1 MAURIZIO CASASCO,3 AND ARSENIO VEICSTEINAS at 1Institute of Physical Exercise, Health, and Sports, Faculty of Exercise Science, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2Interuniversity Institute of Miology, Chieti, Italy; 3Italian Federation of Sport Medicine, Italy; 4Center of Sport Medicine, Don Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy
  • Published J. Strength Cond. Res. 22(3):794–800. 2008.
  • This study was to investigate practical effects of active and passive stretching and warm-ups on maximal anaerobic power through tests of squat jumps and countermovement jumps
  • This study included fifteen male subjects who were moderately active (5.5 ± 2 hours per week of aerobic training). There mean age was 23 ± 0.2 years, mean height 177 ± 2cm, body mass 74 ± 2 kg, thigh skin fold 7.7 ± 1.7 mm
  • The participants performed one of 4 warm ups:

1)      Passive stretching of lower limbs (2 stretches for hamstrings/calfs and hip flexors and quads.

2)      Active warm up (AWU) – 8 minutes of running using 60-65% of theoretical maximal heart rate.

3)      Passive warm up (PWU) external surfaces of both thighs and legs were passively heated using electric blanket warming the skin to 40 degrees Celsius within 15 minutes.

4)      Active warm up with stretching (AWU + S)

5)      Passive warm up with stretching (PWU+S)

6)      Control

  • Skin temperature was detected in both lower limbs in vastus lateralis and medialis as well as gastrocnemius using thermocouples.
  • The jump tests were then conducted after the warm-up (using a force platform) and stretching protocols and included 5 squat jumps (pausing in squat position with knee angle at 90 degrees for concentric only power measurement) and 5 countermovement jumps in random order with 5 minutes rest between the two tests. There was 40 seconds rest in between each jump to eliminate fatigue.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Passive stretching did not effect maximal anaerobic power but did seem to inhibit effect of AWU
  • AWU was more effective than PWU

Effects Of Various Warm-Up Devices and Rest Period Lengths on Batting Velocity  And Acceleration of Intercollegiate Baseball Players

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  JACOB M. WILSON,1 ABRAHAM L. MILLER,1 DAVID J. SZYMANSKI,2 NEVINE M. DUNCAN,1 JODY C. ANDERSEN,1 ZANE G. ALCANTARA,1 TIMOTHY J.MORRISON,1 AND CHRISTOPHER J. BERGMAN at1Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, The University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida; and 2Department of Kinesiology, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 26(9): 2317–2323, 2012—
  • This study was to determine various warm-up devices and rest period length on betting velocity and acceleration of intercollegiate D II baseball players.
  • The study involved 16 D II baseball position  mean age 20.0 ± 2 years, mean weight 88.3 ± 15.8 kg and mean playing experience 13.5 ± 3.5 years.
  • Peak bat velocity was tested 1,2,4, and 8 minutes after warming up(overhead and behind the back dynamic stretching exercises) and with bats of 5 different weights (some heavier some lighter) for 1 minute. A chronograph measuring batting velocity in real time every 10 milliseconds throughout the swing was used. They were tested on 5 different days.
  • The measurable variables tested were:

1)      Peak bat velocity at peak acceleration (PVPA)

2)      Peak bat velocity of the swing (PV)

3)      Peak bat acceleration (PA)

4)      Time to reach peak acceleration (TPA)

  • Each testing session began with finding the subjects’ baseline peak velocity followed by a 10 minute rest period. From ere they were assigned and experimental bat a total of 5 times within a 2 week period. 1 every 20 seconds. After this the subjects again swung the standard bat 1,2,4, and 8 minutes after to test all the above variables.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There were significant time effects (p ≤ 0.05)for PVPA, PV and PA but not for TPA
  • PVPA, PV and PA increased over time peaking from 4 to 8 minutes.
  • There was no significant differences in any of variables among 5 bat weights used in warm up ( p > 0.05) but there was significant differences in PVPA, PV and PA after 2,4, and 8 minutes of rest compared with the preexperimental warm-up and 1 minute post-warm up.

Effects of Warm Up With Various Weighted Implements on Baseball Swing Velocity

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Coop DeRenne, Kwok W. Ho, Ronald K Hetzler and Dennis X. Chai at Hawaii Youth Sports and Fitness Program, Department of Health Physical Education and Recreation; University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822
  • Published J. Appl. Sports. Sci. Res.  1992, 6 (4): 11, 214-218.
    • This study was to determine which of 13 weighted batting warm-up implements would produce greatest bat velocity in subsequent trials
    • The study included sixty male high school varsity baseball player between 16-18 years old.
    • The 13 different warm-up implements included five overweight bats: 51, 48, 45, 34 oz bats; one standard 30 oz bat; four under weighted bats: 29, 27, 23 oz and one standard weigh bat with a 28 oz donut ring (58 oz); a 4.0 oz power sleeve (34 oz) and a Power Swing (62 oz).
    • Each subject was tested on 13 consecutive days only doing one implement a day.
    • A standard warm up including overhead and behind back stretching was done for 1 minute first followed by swinging one of the 13 implements 4 times. Immediately after the warm-up swings, the subjects swung the standard 30 oz bat 2 times and then performed 3 swings at maximum velocity to be tested.
    • Maximum velocity was tested through a photocell gate timing device. A 20 second rest period was given between each swing.

Background –

  • Van Huss et al. found that baseball players who warmed up with an 11 oz. ball during warm up significantly produced higher throwing velocity when throwing a standard 5 oz. Ball. This was theorized to be because skilled movement followed a definite sequence for motor activity and additional motor units were activated because of the heavier weight.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Bats within 27-34 oz range for warm up produced the greatest velocities for the test with a 30 ox bat (p< 0.05)
  • Using lighter than 27 oz or heavier than 34 ozs caused significantly slower bat velocity, the very light 23 oz and the very heavy 51 oz being the worst.
  • Warming up with a lighter or heavier bat should not exceed ±10 percent of the standard bat. Using implements closer to the actual weight is best as more than that may alter the motor pattern.
  • The use of the donut ring (most commonly used) resulted in slowest bat velocities.

Effects of warm-up on muscle glycogenolysis during intense exercise

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Robert A. Robergs, David D. Pascoe, David L. Costill, William J. Fink, Jolanta Chwalbinska-Moneta, Jacqueline A. Davis, and Robert Hickner at Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306
  • Published Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 37-43, 1991.
    • This study determined effects of warm-up on glycogen degradation and energy metabolism during intense cycle ergometer exercise.
    • The study included six active males who participated in 3 test sessions. Their diet was controlled with plenty of balance and high carbohydrate intake (3,071.3 ± 93.7 kcal).
    • The first determined their baseline Vo2 Max on an electronically braked cycle ergometer ( began at 100 W for 5 min, progressed to 150 W for 3 min and 200 W for additional 3 min. then intensity was increase by 25 W until volitional exhaustion.
    • The next two sessions randomly included the test sessions with either warm-up (WU) or no warm-up (NWU) and were separated by 2 days.
    • Temperature was taken rectally and with biopsy of vastus lateralis muscle.
    • The WU trial started with the warm-up of 15 minutes cycling on bike at 60% of VO2 max. After this, subjects rested 10 minutes and then performed the test of a 2 min. sprint ride (SR) of four intervals of 30 s cycling at 100% of their power output at VOx max with 15 s rest intervals. Temperature was taken before and throughout.
    • The NWU trail involved the same testing without the warm-up

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Temperature was higher than resting level prior to testing the warm-up group and remained higher than non warm-up group after the SR test.
  • Muscle glycogen degradation was similar for WU and NWU trials but there was lower accumulation of blood lactate in WU trials (6.5 ± 0.9 vs. 10.7 ± 0.8 ) and muscle lactate (20.1 ±0.1 vs. 23.4 ± 2.2).
  • Oxygen consumption during first minute of sprint testing was higher with warmup.
  • Warm-up also seems to maintain active hyperemia (blood flow to muscle) as tested by muscle biopsy of vastus lateralis. This means that warm-up can improve blood flow at onset of high intensity exercise and increase aerobic contribution to muscle energy metabolism. However it did not spare muscle glycogen during intense exercise.

Effects of Warm-Up on Peak Torque, Rate of Torque Development, and Electromyographic and Mechanomyographic Signals

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By KRISTIANNA M. ALTAMIRANO, JARED W. COBURN, LEE E. BROWN, AND DANIEL A. JUDELSON at Exercise Physiology Laboratory and Center for Sport Performance, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, California
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 26(5): 1296–1301, 2012
  • This study was to determine if active warm-up affects peak torque (PT) rate of torque development (RTD) and electromyographic (EMG) and mechanomyographic (MMG) signals.
  • The study included 21 kinesiology student males with moderate to high resistance training experience. There mean age was 24.0 ± 2.7 years, mean height – 176.7 ± 6.6 cm and mean weight – 87.0 ± 17.1 kg.
  • The participants came in to testing on 2 different occasions (48 hrs apart) for appx. 1 hour each time always at the same time.
  • Their isometric and isokinetic strengths were determined during each visit and electromyographic and MMG sensosrs were placed on skin after control or active warm up had been performed and before isometric and isokinetic strength testing.
  • The active warm-up protocol included:

–          Cycling at 70% of age predicted max HR for 10 minutes on cycle ergometer (Monark 839E).

  • The control involved the subjects sitting motionless for 20 minutes.
  • Max isometric and isokinetic strength of right leg extensors were measured using calibrated HUMAC NORM Testting and Rehabilitation system (CSMi). Isometric strength was determined with lever arm of dynamometer placed below horizontal plane and two maximal 6-second isometric muscles actions were performed with highest values used. 2 minute rest was allowed between each velocity.
  • PT, and RTD were measured on a the isokinetic dynamometer. EMG and MMG sensors were placed over vastus lateralis  to monitor electrical and mechanical aspects of muscle contractions.

Background-

  • The amplitude of the EMG signal is related to motor unit activation (recruitment and firing rate) and the frequency is related to average action potential conduction velocity of the active motor units.
  • Mechanomyography  (MMG) measures the low-frequency sounds produced by contracting skeletal muscle believed to be caused by gross lateral movement of muscle at start of contraction and smaller subsequent lateral oscillations and occur at resonant frequency of muscle, and dimensional changes of the active muscle fibers.
  • MMG amplitude reflects motor unit recruitment and MMG frequency reflects motor unit firing rates.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Active warm-up did not affect PT, RTD or measures of muscle activation as reflected by EMG amplitude, EMG frequency, or MMG frequency.
  • MMG was however significantly greater in warm-up conditions. This suggest that warm-up may have affected the mechanical properties of muscle (i.e. reducing muscular stiffness or decreasing intramuscular fluid pressure although this is not sufficient to influence performance.
  • This study indicated that 10-20 minutes of regular warm-up may not be enough to increase performance.

Eight Weeks of Dynamic Stretching During Warm-ups improves jump power but not repeated or Single Sprint Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Lamia Turki-Belkhiria a b , Anis Chaouachi a , Olfa Turki a , Hamdi Chtourou a , Moktar Chtara a , Karim Chamari a , Mohamed Amri b & David G. Behm c at a Tunisian Research Laboratory “Sports Performance Optimisation”, National Centre of
  • Medicine and Science in Sports, Tunis – El Menzah, Tunisia b Laboratory of Functional Neurophysiology and Pathology, Faculty of Sciences Tunis, El Manar, Tunisia c School of Human Kinetics
  • Published European Journal of Sport Science, DOI:10.1080/17461391.2012.726651
  • This study involved comparing the effects of active dynamic stretching (ADS) vs. static dynamic stretching (SDS) on ROM, power and speed measures.
  • It involved a repeated measured design over 8 weeks of the two warm-up protocols and the control and investigated effects of each on squat jump, countermovement jump(tested with a portable force platform), 20-m sprint performances, repeated sprint ability (RSA) 6 x 20 m, and hip ROM (3 attempts at sit and reach test).
  • This study was to determine if the acute effects of dynamic warm ups(enhanced ROM, improved performance) incorporated into a daily warm-up can produce long term effects. In this case over  8 weeks.
  • Participants included 37 soccer players, college  aged(exercise science and physical education at University of Sports of Tunisia) . There mean age for those assigned to the ADS was 20.6 ±1.0, mean height 179.4 ± 6.8  cm, body mass 76.7 ± 7.3 kg. For the SDS the mean age was 20.9 ± 1.0 years, mean height 180.4 ± 5.5 cm, mean weight 79.2 ± 9.0 kg. For the control the mean age was 20.8 ± 1.8, mean height 181.1 ± 5.9 cm, mean weight 78.1 ± 9.7 kg. They were all considered experienced players with at least 6 years experience and trained three times per week for 1.5-2 hours.
  • The ADS consisted of 5 different stretches/drills performed while moving such as walking or jogging and the SDS consisted of 5 dynamic stretches/drill performed in a stationary position.  They were both done 14 times for each muscle repeated twice and a 10 second recovery was allowed between exercise.
  • After the above protocols, the subjects performed 5-7 min. soccer specific explosive warm-up consisting of incremental intermittent sprints, hops and agility runs. (three-quarter pace running:10-m forward and 5-m sidestepping, repeated twice; 30-m forward repeated three times; a set of eight single hop jumps; a set of eight alternate leg bounds (side hops) and 45-m forward with 5 x 90 degree changes of direction, repeated twice. Intensity then increased: three quarter pace for 10 m and full pace for 20 m, repeated twice, with a walking back recovery (20m) and full pace for 30 m.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • SDS  and ADS showed similar improvements in sit and reach measurements
  • The majority of jumping increased after SDS and ADS as opposed to the control
  • The ADS and SDS did not increase 20m sprint and RSA performance.

Flexibility and Its Effects on Sports Injury and Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Gilbert W. Gleim and Malachy P. McHugh at Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, USA
  • Published Sports Med. 1997 Nov; 2d (5): 289-299
  • This was a review that  simplified fundamental concepts of flexibility and measurement and focused on issues that still lack definitive research

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Flexibility is classified into static and dynamic.
  • Static – ROM available to joint or series of joints
  • Dynamic- the ease of movement within the obtainable ROM (the important measurement is stiffness when refereeing to dynamic flexibility)
  • Joint laxity – should not be confused with static flexibility because it is a function of the joint capsule and ligaments
  • Dynamic flexibility (stiffness) – can  be measured both passively and actively. Passive stiffness is asses by quantifying joint angle at same time as passive torque generation. Active stiffness is the ability to “transiently deform contracted muscle.” Tested by applying a sudden load to a previously contracted muscle.
  • If human muscle (in vivo) is held in a static stretch, the passive tension of muscle declines over time (viscoelastic stress relaxation response). – Baseline stiffness is restored in less than 1 hour though.
  • Passive stretching routine can show improvements in ROM due to ‘stretch tolerance’ but it is still not clear if muscle stiffness has actually been altered some studies showing that it is and some not.
  • Klinge et al. showed that a 43% increase in isometric strength was associated with a 25% increase in passive stiffness. So while stretching is not proven to decrease stiffness, strength training does increase it.
  • There is conflicting studies but there is no strong evidence proving flexibility or stretchigns is associated with rates of strains, sprains ofr overuse injuries.
  • 50-70% of external work performed in level running comes from stored mechanical energy in elastic muscle.
  • Ability to store and use elastic energy is function of compliance or stiffness of muscles and tendons.
  • Decreased flexibility may actually increase economy of movement in some sports

Four-Week Dynamic Stretching Warm-Up Intervention Elicits Longer-Term Performance Benefits

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By SONJA L. HERMAN1,2 AND DEREK T. SMITH 2,3 at 1Department of Sports Medicine, Rochelle Athletics Center, 2Division of Kinesiology and Health, College of Health Sciences, 3Department of Zoology and Physiology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 22: 1286–1297, 2008—
  • This study was to see if a dynamic stretching warm up performed over 4 weeks improved power, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility and strength performance.
  • It involved 24 male D1 college wrestlers from the University of Wyoming
  • It involved pre and post testing to the warm up protocols and the post testing began at least 24 hours after the last warm up protocol day in the 4 week period.
  • The subjects performed either a dynamic warm up protocol or a static warm up protocol.
  • The dynamic warm up included calisthenics ( reps of each) including a bend and reach, rear lunge and reach, turn and reach, squat, rower, power jump, prone row, push-up, windmill, diagonal lunge and reach, and then movement drills over a 20 to 25 minute segment including verticals, laterals, crossovers, skip and shuttle sprint
  • The static warm up included overhead arm pull, turn and reach, rear lunge and reach, hamstring stretch, calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, posterior hip stretch, trunk flexion/extension stretch
  • The performance tests done pre and post warm up protocol included: peak torque of quadriceps and hamstrings, medicine ball underhand throw, 300 yd shuttle, pull ups, push-ups, sit-ups, broad jump, 600-m run, sit and reach test, trunk extension test.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • The dynamic warm up showed significant improvements in  quadriceps peak torque (11%), broad jump (4%), underhand med. Ball throw (4%), sit ups (11%) and push ups (3%) a decrease in average time to completion of 300 yd shuttle (-2%) and the 600 m run (-2.4%)

Hamstring Muscle Injury: The Influence of Strength, Flexibility, Warm-Up and Fatigue

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By: Teddy W. Worrell, EdD, PT, ATC* and David H. Perrin, PhD, ATC† * Assistant professor, physical therapy, Krannert Graduate School of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN † Associate professor and director, Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Education Research Laboratory and Graduate Athletic Training Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • Published –  Worrell, T.W., & Perrin, D.H. (1992). Hamstring muscle injury: the role of strength, flexibility, warm-up, and fatigue. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 16, 12-18.
  • This was a review of the influence of strength, flexibility and warm up on hamstring injury and a discussion on the factors of hamstring injury and steps to prevent them
  • Christenson and Wiseman reported that when bilateral deficits in isometric hamstring strength or ham/quad ratios exceed 10% injuries may occur
  • Safran et al concluded that a warm up period prior to activity may prevent injury to muscolotendionous unit by increasing its elasticity and force absorption capability
  • Injury is a combination of muscle strength, flexibility, fatigue and lack of warm up and assessment is flexibility with active knee extension or passive knee extension as well as strength testing need to be used.

Influence Of Closed Skill  And Open Skill Warm-Ups On The Performance of Speed, Change of Direction Speed, Vertical Jump, And Reactive Agility In Team Sports Athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By TIM J. GABBETT,1 JEREMY M. SHEPPARD,2 KELLIE R. PRITCHARD-PESCHEK,1MICHAEL D. LEVERITT,3 AND MURRY J. ALDRED at 1Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Club, Brisbane, Queensland; 2Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra; 3Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 22(5): 1413–1415, 2008
  • This study compared the effects of  two different dynamic warm-ups (one with open skills or reactive movements) and another with closed skills (or preplanned dynamic activities) on the performance of speed, change of direction speed, vertical jump, and reactive agility in team sport athletes.
  • This study included fourteen (six male, eight female) junior basketball scholarship players at Queensland Academy of Sport high-performance basketball program who had undergone 9 months of strength and conditioning and basketball-specific training. There mean age was 16.3 ± 0.7 years
  • The study was conducted on 2 separate days with a  cross over study design.
  • When the subjects came they first performed a standardized 7 minute warm up of general movements as well as dynamic and static stretching. After they were randomly assigned to one of the two protocols consisted of 15 minute dynamic warm up of entirely open or closed skills. Each protocol consisted of five activities of 3 minutes duration
  • The open skill warm up consisted of the following:

1)      Players dribble at each other, execute designated move within 1 m of each other, and rapidly change past

2)      As above  but progressed to groups of 2,4, and 6 players

3)      Offensive player steps to pass and squares up aiming to score. Defensive player attempts to close out attempted shot. Defensive players are encourage to read cues before offensive player receiving ball.

4)      As above but progressed to 1 on 1 game.

5)      4 vs. 4 game, where teams must complete 30 passes. Each player is only permitted one dribble per possession. Changes of possession occur for every fumble, violation, dribble or unassertive play (e.g. not squaring up).

  • The closed skill warm up consisted of the following:

1)      Skipping forward or backward over a 20-m distance

2)      Carioca with an emphasis on foot speed,

3)      Acceleration sprints with progressively increasing pace over a 20-m distance

4)      Maximal effort sprints over a 20-m distance

5)      Change of direction (zigzag) activities, including rapidly moving toward a marker, decelerating, stopping, and changing direction.

  • After the warm-up, participants did the following tests stated above in random order.
  • Vertical jump was measured on Yardstick vertical jump device to the nearest 1 cm with highest jump from three trials used.
  • Speed was evaluated with 5, 10, and 20 m sprints using a dual beam electronic timing gate.
  • Change of direction was evaluated with a T-test using the same equipment for speed.
  • Reactive ability (RAT) was tested by having the researcher stand opposite the subjects behind a set of timing lights. The athletes moved in the direction initiated by the tester, moving forward, backward left or right.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There was no significant difference in performance of any test measures between the two warm-up protocols. 

Influence of post-warm-up recovery time on swim performance in international swimmers.

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Daniel J. Westd, Bernie M. Dietzigb, Richard M. Brackena, Daniel J. Cunninghama, Blair T. Crewthere, Christian J. Cooka,c, Liam P. Kilduff a, at  a Health and Sport Portfolio, College of Engineering, Swansea University, UK b British Swimming, Intensive Training Unit Swansea, Wales National Pool, UK c UK Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, University of Bath, UK d Department of Sport and Exercise Science, School of Life Science, Northumberland Building, Northumbria University, UK e Hamlyn Centre, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College, UK
  • Published Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 16 (2013) 172–176
  • This study investigated performance of swimmers after waiting 20 minutes after warm-up and 45 minutes after warm-up.
  • It included 8 international level swimmers (4 male and 4 female) from the British Swimming Intensive Training Centre in Swansea. Their mean age was 18.8 ± 1.3 years, mean height 1.74± 0.07 m, mean weight 64.7 ± 7.4 kg.
  • The swimmers performed a standardized warm-up ( 400 m freestyle, 200 m pull, 200 m kick, 200 m drill, 200 m individual medley, 4 x 50 m freestyle, rest 15 s at race pace, 200 m easy) and then rested for either 20 or 45 minutes.
  • After this they performed a 200 m freestyle time-trial (TT) and core temperature, blood lactate, HR and RPE was taken at baseline( subjects rested 15 minutes seated upon arriving and then tem. was taken) , post warm-up, pre-TT, immediately post TT, and 3 minutes post TT.
  • This was done two times on two spate days with 7 days in between and done at same time of day.

Background-

  • A meta-analysis done at this time showed that 79% of research demonstrated an improvement in performance following a warm-up procedure
  • The authors say that the primary improvement in performance in general warm-up is due to rise in muscle temperature which increases anaerobic metabolism, increased oxygen delivery to active muscle, and increased nerve conduction rate.
  • The authors also write that: “Although prior exercise/activation may induce psychological and muscle-neural changes (post-activation potentiation) which have been shown to improve performance, it has been suggested that the rise in muscle temperature is the major contributing factor.”
  • Muscle temp rises rapidly within first 3-5 min of exercise and reaches a plateau after 10-20 min. so it is recommended to compete more than 5 minutes after warm up but less than 15-20 min. after. This allows for optimal balance between phosphocreatine restoration and muscle potentiation. 

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Temperature after warm-up was similar but temperature before the time trial with higher in the group that had only weighted 20 minutes (37.8 ± 0.2 vs. 37.5 ±0.2 degrees Celsius in the 45 minute wait group).
  • Blood lactate was similar at all points.
  • Swimmers showed a slight improvement in performance when only resting for 20 minutes (1.5 ± 1.1% improvement)  20 min time – 125.74 ± 3.64s..  45 min time – 127.60 ±3.55s)
  • Temperature was similar between conditions immediately after the timed trial and 3 min. after the time trial but blood lactate was higher during these times under the 20 min. rest protocol.
  • HR and RPE were similar at all points
  • It seems that a shorter rest (20 min.) between warming up and performing has a positive effect on performance. This may be due to increased core temperature and better core temperature maintenance. 

Influence of Stretching and Warm-Up on Achilles Tendon Material Properties

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Don Young Park, MD1; Jonas Rubenson, PhD2; Amelia Carr, BS3; James Mattson, BS3; Thor Besier, PhD1; Loretta B. Chou, MD1 at 1 Stanford University, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Stanford, CA. 2 The University of Western Australia, Department of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, Perth, Australia. 3 Stanford University, Human Performance Laboratory. Stanford, CA.
  • Published in Foot & Ankle International/Vol. 32, No. 4/April 2011
  • This study compared general warm-up to stretching protocols to see which had greater effect on Achilles tendon biomechanics
  • The study included 10 subjects (5 males and 5 females) whose mean age was 22.9 ± 3.4 years , mean height – 1.70 ± 0.11 m, and mean weight – 69.4 ± 15.0 kg. They were all active with athletic backgrounds.
  • The subjects underwent either a warm up routine or stretching (both common in nature) on two separate days. The warm up included a 6 minute jog on a treadmill at a speed of 3 m/s. A familiarization trial was performed prior to this in which the subjects performed five maximal isometric plantarflexion tasks with 1 minute rest intervals in between and using the average of these, an 80% submaximal target force was calculated for all further dynamometer trials.
  • The static stretching protocol involved five 30 second reps of continuous static stretching on and inclined platform set at 30 degrees.
  •  After the warm up, five more plantarflexion tasks were repeated to the 80% submax target immediately following the warm-up or the stretching
  • On the same day to determine combined effect of stretching and warm-up, the subjects aslo performed a warm-up of 6 minute jogging at 2 m/s immediately after post-stretch flexion tasks and five further plantarflexion measurements were taken.
  • Testing for Achilles biomechanics included a custom-built dynamometer to perform controlled isometric plantarflexion, a low profile ultrasound probe to visualize the musculotendinous junction of medial gastrocnemius, and eight camera motion capture system used to capture ankle motion, and a custom software calculated Achilles tendon biomechanics.

Background-

  • Achilles tendon injuries are common in athletes because of the significant mechanical loads it undergoes due to its role in storing and returning elastic energy enabling explosive movements such as running and jumping and it is one of the few muscle-tendon units that crosses two joints

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There were no significant differences in any conditions
  • They were consistently able to obtain the 80% maximum isometric force target.
  • There was no statistical significant difference in Achilles tendon parameters such as stretch, stiffness or strain.
  • It is possible that prolonged 10 minute stretches (uncommon in real world settings) like those used in a study by Kubo et al. (which showed a difference in Achilles tendon forces unlike this study) may decrease stiffness in the Achilles tendon leasing to decreased plantarflexion strength which ultimately may increase risk for Achilles overuse injuries. 

Less is more: standard warm-up causes fatigue and less warm-up permits greater cycling power output

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Elias K. Tomaras and Brian R. MacIntosh at Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canad
  • Published J Appl Physiol 111: 228–235, 2011.
  • This study compared a traditional warm-up for cycling involving a general warm-up followed by a series of sprints lasting ≥ 50 min in total with an experimental warm-up (WU) (consisting of only 17 min. of warm –up) to see the effect on a 30-s Wingate test and electrically elicited twitch contractions. The authors proposed that the traditional warm-up is too much and causes fatigue and that the less is more approach of the experimental warm-up is better.
  • It included ten highly trained male track cyclists. Mean age – 33.5 ± 9.1 years, Mean weight 77.9 ± 7.2 kg, Mean height 180.6 ± 7.6 cm
  • It was divided into two parts:

–          Part 1 – eval. of twitch active force for quadriceps muscles before and after the two warm up procedures (this is the only way to accurately determine if PAP is true) After each of these sessions the subjects perform a practice Wingate test

–          Part 2 – 9 of 10 subjects performed Wingate test 12.5 min after each warm-up protocol. This was done in random order.

  • The traditional warm up began with 20 min. of cycling with gradual increase in intensity from 60-95% of max HR; then four sprints were performed at 8 min. intervals.
  • The experimental warm up was shorter and less intense increasing form 60-70% of max HR over 15 min. then just one sprint.

Background-

  • PAP has been observed in animal models but not confirmed in humans
  • PAP can be identified as an enhanced twitch response that dissipates over a 5-min period of relative inactivity.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Wingate test performance was significantly better after experimental warm up than after traditional.
  • The authors suggest that the effort to take advantage of PAP might actually cause more fatigue and impair performance

Low load exercises targeting the gluteal muscle group acutely enhance explosive power output in elite athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Justin F Crow, David Buttifant, Simon G Kearny, Con Hyrysomallis at School of Physiotherapy, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.; Sport Science Department, Collingwood Football Club, Melbourne, Australia.; Sport Science Department, Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, Melbourne, Australia.; School of Sport and Exercise Science, Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active; Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Submitted 2010 for J Strength Cond Res (look up article for more details)
  • This study was to investigate acute effect of 3 warm-up protocols on peak power production during countermovement jump testing. I was to determine a practical protocol to use for pre-competition, matches or weight training sessions.
  • It included thirty elite Australian rules football players
  • Three test session were held on training days over a ten day period during pre-season training phase in late morning one hour after a field training session.
  • The 3 warm up protocols done before the testing included:

1)      A series of low load exercises targeting luteal muscle group (GM-P) – one set of 10 reps for 7 exercises taking 5-7 minutes to complete. (double leg bridge, side lying hip abduction (clam)exercise and quadruped lower extremity lift (dirty dog) and stability ball wall squats

2)      A Whole body vibration protocol (WBV-P) where subjects stood on platform vibrating at 30Hz for 45 seconds * subjects stood with 10-30 degrees of knee flexion in an unloaded static squat stance

3)      No warm up (CON) – Control

  • Testing started five minutes after warm-up
  • CMJ was analyzed by performing five consecutive jumps using a Smith machine with bar mass of 20 kg. They jumped on a foam mat and peak power was measured using a Gymaware linear encoder which was secured to floor directly below the Smith machine bar at one end.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Only twenty two subjects completed all three testing conditions
  • The low load exercises produced significantly better results than the other two protocols indicated that incorporating light loads (25-35% 1RM) will improve subsequent performance. The authors point out that this is probably not PAP though because PAP involves a near maximal contraction which includes phosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chains and possible change in pennation angle. These factors are unlikely to happen with low intensity exercise.

Negative Effect of Static Stretching Restored When Combined With A Sport Specific Warm-Up Component

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Lee Taylor a,∗, Jeremy M. Sheppard a, Hamilton Lee a, Norma Plummerb at a Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Australia b Netball Program, Australian Institute of Sport, Australia
  • Published Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 12 (2009) 657–661
  • This study was to determine if static stretching prior to a sport specific warm up was detrimental to performance or not.
  • It included thirteen players from the Australian Institute of Sport Netball program. The Mean age was 19.6 ± 0.8 years, mean height 184.8 ± 6.3 cm, mean weight 75.2 ± 10.3 kg.
  • There were two test conditions and each session (before the experimental warm up protocol) began with sub-maximal jog equivalent to 12 laps of a netball court (total distance of 300m).
  • Day 1 began with the submaximal warm described above followed by 15 minutes of static stretching. After the stretching, subjects then performed a netball specific skill warm-up.
  • The static stretch protocol included – standing calf stretch, kneeling Achilles tendon stretch, seated hamstring stretch, seated gluteus maximus stretch leaning forward with one foot on the leg, standing quadriceps stretch, lying lower back stretch, seated groins stretch, kneeling hip flexor stretch, quadratus lumborum stretch. All these stretches were held fo 30 s each with stretches 1-6 repeated twice each limb and stretches 7-9 repeated once on each limb.
  • Day 2 followed the same design as day 1 but the static stretching was replaced with 15 min. of dynamic warm-up. The netball specific warm-up was also performed to determine the effect of static stretching
  • The dynamic warm-up included: 1) high knees x 3 (over 20m) 2) butt flicks x 3 (over 20m) 3) carioca x 2 each side (over 20 m) 4) Dynamic hamstring swings x 10 each side 5) Dynamic groin swings x 10 each side 6) Arm swings (forward and backwards x 10 each direction) 7) Faster high knees (shorter stride over 10 m x 4) 8) Swerving x 2 over 30 m at 70% 9) Side stepping over 30 m at 70% 10) spiderman walks over 20m 11) sideways low squat walks x 10 steps each direction 12) Upper body rotations x 10 each direction 13) vertical jump x 5 – building intensity 14) Run though over 20 m 70% x 2, 80% x 2, 90% x 2, 95% x (10m) 16) Spring for 5 m then countermovement jump x 2
  • The netball specific skill warm-up consisted of open-skilled ball drills of various  combinations of short sprints (5-10m) shuffling, accelerations, change of direction and various jumps
  • Subjects performed a countermovement vertical jump and 20m sprint both after the warm-up intervention(static or dynamic) and also after the netball specific warm-up. They were given 2-3 min. rest before the testing and two attempts for each test. 

Background-

  • Young and Behm have found that although static stretching was used in a warm-up, practicing task specific jumps “opens up” specific neural pathways, facilitating motor unit activation  and so the stretching does not have a negative effect on subsequent performance and produces similar results as if the athlete had not done anything.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Performance was significantly worse after static stretching  but there was no significant differences in the static stretching protocol compared with the dynamic warm-up protocol with testing after the skill specific warm-up indicating that the skill specific warm-up cancels any negative effect of static stretching.

Reducing Muscle Temperature Drop after Warm-up Improves Sprint Cycling Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By STEVE H. FAULKNER1, RICHARD A. FERGUSON2, NICOLA GERRETT1, MAARTEN HUPPERETS3, SIMON G. HODDER1, and GEORGE HAVENITH1 at 1Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre, Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UNITED KINGDOM; 2School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UNITED KINGDOM; and 3ait Sport Research Lab, adidas AG, Herzogenaurach, GERMANY
  • Published Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 359–365, 2013.
  • This study determined the effects on maximal sprint performance of passive insulation vs. external heating during recovery of sprint-specific warm-up.
  • The study included 11 male cyclists. Mean age 24.7 ± 4.2 years, mean height – 1.82 ± 0.72m, mean weight – 77.9 ± 9.8 kg
  • The subjects were tested on three spate occasions (minimum of 72 hours between days) and performed a 15 min. intermittent warm-up on a cycle ergometer. After they had a 30 min. passive recovery period before performing the 30 s max sprint test.  Before the sprint test they underwent one of the 3 experimental protocols – 1)They wore a tracksuit (CONT),  2) they wore insulated athletic pants (INS) or 3) insulated athletic pants with integrated electric heating
  • elements (HEAT).. These protocols were to see the effect of keeping the muscle warm during an extended period of time between warm-up and testing and to see the results on performance.
  • Muscle temp. was taken in the vastus lateralis at 1,2, and 3 cm depth before and after the warm-up and immediately before sprint test.
  • Absolute and relative peak power output was determined and blood lactate concentration was measured immediately before sprint test.
  • There were several practice tests done ahead of time to ensure results weren’t  skewed.

Background-

  • Events of short duration <5min. which involved high levels of power production benefit more from increased muscle temp.
  • HEAT kept muscles warmer longer than other two conditions
  • Blood lactate was greater in HEAT after sprint probably due to increased ATP production due to higher muscle temp.
  • Warm-up suits plus heating pads can increase performance.

Should postactivation potentiation be the goal of your warm-up?

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Brian R. MacIntosh, Marie-Eve Robillard, and Elias K. Tomaras Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
  • Published Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 37: 546–550 (2012) doi:10.1139/H2012-016
  • This is a position paper discussing PAP
  • Athletes assume that high-intensity performance following warm-up will lead to improved performance and that this is due to PAP but PAP dissipates over 4-6 min after the PAP-inducing contraction so (by this rule) any performance after this time PAP shouldn’t be contributing to.
  • The authors discuss how the problem with some research is the learning effect and that subjects need time to practice criterion so that learning effect can be diminished
  • The PAP contraction  is referred to as the conditioning contraction.
  • A twitch is the contractile response to a single activating stimulus (electrical pulse) delivered to the motor nerve or directly to the muscle and measuring increase in amplitude after conditioning contraction is how to test PAP.

The mechanism of activity dependent potentiation relies on myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), which is activated by an increase in intracellular free [Ca2+] (Grange et al. 1993). Ca2+ is released from the terminal cisternae of skeletal muscle, and in parallel with initiating contraction, this Ca2+ activates MLCK. Phosphorylation of the regulatory light chains of myosin promotes mobility of the myosin heads (Levine et al. 1996), and this increases the rate at which cross-bridges form when the muscle is activated (MacIntosh 2010; Sweeney and Stull 1990). The increased rate of cross-bridge formation allows a faster rate of force development. Phosphorylation of proteins is one way the body provides short-term memory. Only the motor units that were activated will have this “memory”, and fast-twitch motor units have a higher activity of MLCK so they respond with a greater level of regulatory light chain phosphorylation (Grange et al. 1993). The memory dissipates as dephosphorylation of the regulatory light chains occurs, by activity of light chain phosphatase. Typically, any phosphorylation achieved by a given contraction is lost after 5–6 min of inactivity. This means that any enhancement of performance attributable to PAP can only be effective within a short time-frame (1–5 min) after the conditioning contraction(s).

  • French and colleagues (2003) tested performance 3 second and 5 seconds after PAP and found that there was no increased performance after 5 but there was after 3
  • Although some studies support that PAP produces greater performance for longer than 5 minutes after there is little conclusive evidence that the improved performance was not caused by another factor

Should Static Stretching Be Used During a Warm-Up for Strength and Power Actitivies?

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Warren B. Young, PhD at University of Ballarat, Ballarat Victoria, Australia and David G. Behm, PhD at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Published Strength and Conditioning Journal Volume 24, Number 6, pages 33–37, 2002
  • This is a position paper discussing the need for static stretching in warm up for strength and power activities
  • A basic warm up should include: 1) low intense submax aerobic component (rational given for this is that it increases core and muscle temp which improves neuromuscular function. 2)Some stretching of muscles that will be used 3) rehearsal of the skill about to be performed done in gradually increasing intensities eventually replicating equal or greater effort of competition intensity. This is to activate or recruit specific muscle fibers and neural pathways needed to achieve optimum neuromuscular performance.
  • Research has shown that stretching can produce appx. 5-30% decrease in strength and power production but these finding may be inaccurate because the stretching protocols in research (stretching a single muscle group for 15 min. or more) are much more intense than those used by athletes. Although some studies have shown that as little as 2 minutes of static stretching can negatively effect performance.
  • Neural inhibition, increased muscle-tendon compliance leading to reduced rate of force transmission from muscle to skeletal system, and muscle damage have been said to decrease performance although exact cause is still questioned.
  • It’s thought that the benefit of warm up is because of reduction in muscle stiffness rather than simply increased joint ROM
  • Static stretching has been shown to increase passive stiffness but not active stiffness (active stiffness has been shown to be increased better by increased muscle temp. and  simple running). Reducing active stiffness is more associated with decrease risk of injury. 

Stretching Before and After Exercise – Effect on Muscle Soreness and Injury Risk

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By J.C. Anderson at the University of Tampa, Tampa. FL
  • Published Journal of Athletic Training 2005;40(3):218–220
  • This was a review of numerous research papers compiled to determine if stretching before and after exercise reduces muscle soreness or risk on injury
  • It was taken for the meta-analysis of Herbert RD, Gabriel M. Effects of stretching before and after exercise on muscle soreness and risk of injury: systematic review. BMJ. 2002;325:468.

Considerations and Conclusions

  • Overall it was found that on average there was only a 2% reduction in soreness over the first 72 hours after exercise when subjects stretched. (little to no significance)
  • Stretching reduces injury by 5% (probably less in athletes and little significance)
  • The literature states that increased muscle compliance is associated with decreased ability to absorb energy in a muscle at rest, whereas a contracting muscle is less compliant but can absorb more force. Therefore, greater compliance, which can be achieved through stretching, is not necessarily related to the tissue’s resistance to injury. 

Stretching before or after exercise does not reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Nicholas Henschke and C Christine Lin
  • Published Br J Sports Med 2011;45:1249–1250. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090599
  • This was a review that was an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2007.
  • All but one of studies reviews used static stretching techniques with one study examining effects of a hold-relax PNF technique.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • The research does not support that stretching before and after exercise reduces DOMS  

Stretching to Prevent or Reduce Muscle Soreness After Exercise

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Robert D Herbert1, Marcos de Noronha2, Steven J Kamper1 at 1Musculoskeletal Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia. 2Physiotherapy, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Published Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD004577. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004577.pub3.
  • This was a review of the literature to determine if stretching before or after exercise reduces DOMS
  • DOMS is only partly understood. The initial soreness is probably because of mechanical disruption or sarcomeres which causes swelling of damaged muscle fibers and initiates an inflammatory response which can excite nociceptors (receptors capable of transmitting info about pain).
  • The practice of stretching came about because it was thought that DOMS had to do with muscle spasm due to unaccustomed exercise and that the spasm impeded blood flow to muscle causing ischaemic pain and further spasm. Stretching was to restore blood flow to muscle and interrupt the pain spasm-pains cycle. This has since been discredited.
  • So it is believed that this soreness is actually due not to excessive elongation of some sarcomeres within muscle fibers
  • However, stretching may be more beneficial for those with very short muscles because anything that would increase length or compliance of tendons could reduce sarcomere strains and lessen muscle damage associated with unaccustomed eccentric contraction
  • The review concludes that stretching does not decrease DOMS

The Acute Effect of Whole-Body Vibration On The Vertical Jump Height

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • W. JEFFREY ARMSTRONG,1 DAVID C. GRINNELL,2 AND GABRIEL S. WARREN2 at 1Division of Health and Physical Education, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon; and 2Department of Kinesiology, Hope College, Holland, Michigan
  • J Strength Cond Res 24(10): 2835–2839, 2010
  • This study was conducted to see if a 1 minute long whole-body vibration (WBV) is a viable warm-up activity.
  • The study included 90 subjects – 30 men and 60 women from Hope College. They ranged from 18-27 years and the mean age was 19 ± 1 years.
  • The subjects were assigned to the control or one of 8 WBV protocols that included 4 frequencies x 2 AMplitutes where they stood with feet shoulder width apart and knees flexted at 10 degrees on  Next Generation Power plate for 1 minute with either 30,35,40, or 50 Hz and amplitude 2-4 or 4-6 mm.
  • They were tested on countermovement jumps before and 1,5,10,15,20,25, and 30 minutes after WBV or control. Countermovement jumps were measured on a Vertec.
  • The countermovement jump was down 5 times before the WBV and 3 times every 5 minutes for 30 minutes after.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • It was found that an acute bout of WBV might increase vertical jump height in some people regardless of intensity.
  • Jump height peaked at 5 minutes post- WBV and decreased to little significance greater than baseline.
  • The effect is variable and minimal and effects are very short-lived

The Acute Effect of Different Stretching Exercises on Jump Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By LAURA PACHECO,1,2 RAMON BALIUS,2 LUISA ALISTE,3 MONTSE PUJOL,1,2
  • AND CARLES PEDRET 4,5 at 1International University of Catalunya, Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain; 2Catalan Sports Council, Government Institution of Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; 3Catalan Cancer Strategy, Department of Health, Duran i Reynals Hospital, Hospitalet, Spain; 4Sports Medicine Department of Consorci Sanitari del Garraf, Barcelona, Spain; and 5Centrer of Diagnosis for Image of Tarragona, Tarragona, Spain
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 25(11): 2991–2998, 2011.
  • This study was to show the short-term effects of different stretching exercises during warm up period on lower limbs.
  • It involved 49 student volunteers (14 women and 35 men) ages 18-30 years (mean age 20.4 years). They were all physically active and this was a crossover study with a very homogenous group.
  • This study was to see if static active stretching was optimal for active tension activities.
  • The subjects performed preformed baseline jumps for the countermovement jump, squat jump, and drop jump and then went through a general warm up before going through one of the stretching protocols.
  • The stretching protocols that each subject went under were – 1) NS no stretching 2) P static passive stretching 3) PT static active stretching in passive tension 4) AT static active stretching in active tension
  • After this they performed their jumps again

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • P, PNF, and AT all showed improved performance post test.
  • Static active stretching (AT) showed the best improvement
  • Elasticity index (EI) is an indication of viscoelastic and neuromuscular capacities of the muscle. The EI was only significant for passive stretching. It was negatively affected indicating  that passive stretching can reduce the muscle’s viscoelasticity
  • The recommendation of this study suggest that a warm up should include an initial general work (low – intensity training) followed by static stretching with AT followed by a series of dynamic exercises and finally an explosive elastic force exercises that are appropriate for sport.

The Acute Effects of Static Stretching On The Sprint Performance  of Collegiate Men In The 60- and 100-M Dash After A Dynamic Warm-Up

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • BRANDON M. KISTLER, MARK S. WALSH, THELMA S. HORN, AND RONALD H. COX  at Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
  • J Strength Cond Res 24(9): 2280–2284, 2010
  • This study was conducted to study the effects of static stretching on longer sprint performances longer than 50m, specifically 60- and 100-m sprint
  • It used a within-subjects design and involved eighteen male college track athletes ( sprinters, vertical and horizontal jumpers, pole vaulters, and multievent athletes) from Miami University. Their mean age was 20.3 ± 1.4 years, mean height 183.7 ± 5.5 cm, and mean weight 78.4 ±6.2 kg
  • The testing was done across 2 days and each day began with a generalized dynamic warm-up routine that included a self-paced 800 m run, followed by a series of dynamic movements, sprint, and hurdle drills.  The entire warm up took 25 minutes.
  • After this they were assigned to the stretching protocol or the no-stretching condition. The static stretches included 4 passive stretches for calfs, hamstrings, and thighs completed in order, and legs were alternated and held for 30 seconds resting for 20 seconds between stretches and 30 seconds between sets.
  • After that they immediately performed 2 100m trials with timing gates set up at 20,40,60 and 100 m.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There was significant slowing in performance after static stretching (p<0.039) in the second 20 of the (20-40) m of the sprint trials. After the first 40m, static stretching showed not additional inhibition of performance in a 100-m sprint.
  • Although there seemed to be no further inhibitory effect non longer distances the runners could not make up the time from not being able to make up from the first 20 m and the rate of force production lost in this time.

The Acute Effects of Various Types of Stretching Static, Dynamic, Ballistic, And No Stretch Of The Illiopsoas on 40-Yard Sprint Times In Recreational Runners

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Harvey W. Wallmann, PT, DSc, SCS, ATC, CSCS1 Scott D. Christensen, PT, DPT2 Craig Perry, PT, DPT3 Donald L. Hoover, PT, PhD, CSCS1 at 1 Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA 2 Integrity Home Health Care, Las Vegas, NV, USA 3 Kelly Hawkins Physical Therapy, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • Published The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy | Volume 7, Number 5 | October 2012 | Page 540
  • This study used a repeated measures design and tested 40-yd sprint performance immediately following  one of 4 conditions: static stretching, dynamic, ballistic stretching and no stretching all focusing on the illiospsoas muscle to determine which protocol would produce the best results. The stretching lasted of 1 minute and testing and the sprint test was within 1 minute after this
  • The 4 conditions were done randomly over 2 weeks allowing for 48-72 hours between each day
  • Before each trial a 5 minute warm up walk was performed at 3.5 mph on treadmill.
  • .Then each subject ran a baseline 40-yd sprint
  • After a 5 minute self-paced walk, the subjects performed one of the 4 stretching conditions and then immediately ran a timed 40-yd sprint after to test.

Background-

  • Previous studies that have observed decreased performance after stretching have only observed effects on hip and knee extension, knee flexion, and ankle plantarflexion.  That is why this study focused on the illiopsoas because the hip flexors may have the greatest influence on sprint speed. The iliopsoas is the muscle complex primarily responsible for hip flexion.
  • The iliopsoas has been shown to be more active than the glutes, rectus femoris, adductors etc. in running at low, medium, and high speeds.
  • It involved 25 students (non-competitive, recreational runners) including 16 males and 9 females between the ages of 25-35. The mean age was 26.76 ± 2.42 years.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There was no significant differences between the four pre-condition times and post condition times.
  • There was no significant differences between the different stretching protocols.
  • Sprint performance showed best improvement in no stretch protocol.

The effect of an active warm-up on surface EMG and muscle performance in healthy humans

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  David Steward, Andrea Macaluso and Giuseppe De Vito at Strathclyde Institute for Biomedical Science, University of Strathclyde, 76 Southbrae Drive, G13 1PP Glasgow, Scotland
  • Published Eur J Appl Physiol (2003) 89: 509–513 DOI 10.1007/s00421-003-0798-2
  • This study was to determine the effect on a active warm-up on maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) maximal instantaneous power output and surface EMG (sEMG) parameters.
  • It involved eight subjects (6 male, 2 female) mean age 22 ± 4 years, mean height 1.72 ± 0.06 m, mean weight 72.5 ± 9.9 kg, VO2 peak 52± 10 (taken prior to main testing)
  • They subjects complete two trials on the same day separated by an hour. The first was  the control and the other involved testing preceded by an active cycling warm up at 70% ventilator threshold.
  • Vastus lateralis temp was measured and compared with Aural temp..
  • The tests included knee extension maximum voluntary contraction at a 90 degree angle with simultaneous recording of SEMG for vastus lateralis followed by three squat jumps performed on force platform.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Muscle and skin temps were significantly higher in warm up protocol compared to control while Aural temp. was unchanged.
  • Max isometric contraction was unchanged between the two protocols.
  • Maximal instantaneous power output (measured through the squat jump) was 7% higher following active warm-up with significance  of p<0.05)
  • The sEMG signals recorded during MVC showed median frequency (MDF) was 13.5% higher in warm up compared to control while root means square was 14% lower in warm up compared to control

“It is well known that an increase in muscle temperature affects the rate of enzymatic processes including the ATPase activity (Ba´ ra´ny 1967). This effect is translated into an improved performance only when the rate of contraction is elevated. If the contraction is isometric or at a low velocity, the rate of ATP hydrolysis is greater than that required by the action, and therefore most of this ‘‘extra’’ energy is released as heat (Rall and Woledge 1990).”

The Effect Of Different Warm-Up Stretch Protocols On 20 Meter Sprint Performance In Trained Rugby Union Players

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Iain M. Fletcher and Bethan Jones at Exercise Physiology Laboratory, University of Luton, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK.
  • J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(4):000- 000. 2004
  • This study was to determine effect of different static and dynamic stretching protocols on 20 m sprint performance.
  • It included 97 male rugby players who were recruited from local amateur clubs who had been playing for at least 1 year. The average age was 23 ± 8.4 years, average height 181 ± 8 cm and average weight 86.5 ± 14.4 kg.
  • They were split up and randomly assigned to 4 groups. The 4 groups were passive static stretch (PSS with 28 players), active dynamic stretch (ADS with 22 players), active static stretch (ASST with 24 players), and dynamic stretch (SDS with 23 players). The stretches focused on the quads, adductors, hamstrings, gluteals, and gastrocnemii and solei.
  • All subjects performed a standard 10 minute jog warm-up followed by 2 sprints over 20 m with a timed recovery of 2 minutes. After this the subjects performed one of the 4 stretching protocols.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Dynamic stretching showed faster sprint times while static active or passive stretching protocols showed decreased performance

The Effect Of Two Warm-Up Protocols on Some Biomechanical Parameters of Neuromuscular System of Middle Distance Runners

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  BRANKO Sˇ KOF AND VOJKO STROJNIK at Laboratory for Biomechanics, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • J. Strength Cond. Res. 21(2):394–399. 2007.
  • This study tested the effects of two separate warm-up protocols on biomechanical parameters of neuromuscular system of well-trained middle distance runners.
  • It included 7 well trained middle distance runners. Mean age 25.3 ± 4.1 years, mean weight 62.5 ± 4.1 kg, mean height 176 ± 3.6 cm. They had also competed on average for 9 ± 3 years and the average result on 1,500 meters was 3:54.12.. They trained 6-8 sessions weekly with average mileage of 80 km per week.
  • The subjects first performed a graded test on a treadmill to determine lactate threshold velocity and the warm up protocols were done 3 days after.
  • The subjects performed one of two warm up protocols:

–          Warm up 1 (WUP 1): 10-minute continuous run at 80% VLT, 5-minute stretching (flexibility exercises involving legs), 6  50 meter bounding exercises (2 skipping, 2 hopping, 2  strides), and 5 80 meter acceleration runs. The warm-up took 25–27 minutes.

–          Warm up 2 (WUP 2): 10-minute continuous run at 80% VLT and 5-minute stretching (flexibility exercises involving the legs). The warm-up took 15 minutes.

  • Before the warm up protocols, the subjects were administered electrodes for electrical stimulation and temp. measurement as well as a heart rate monitor and were asked to rest in seated position for 20 minutes to determine baseline.
  • WUP 1 was done first and WUP 2 was done 4-6 days later.
  • After the warm-ups, the following tests were administered in this order: blood sampling, surface temp. of vastus lateralis muscle taken, relaxed vastus lateralis response to single electrical impulse (twitch), and max voluntary isometric extension in knee with added quadriceps femoris electrical stimulation taken. These were done 60-90 seconds after warm up.
  • A 2 way before/after x WUP1/WUP2 analysis of variance for repeated measurements followed by a post hoc test were used.

Background-

  • Different warm ups may effect different mechanisms of neuromuscular function
  • Stewart et al. found that 15 minutes of low intensity warm-up on bicycle ergometer increased muscle temp. by 3% causing frequency of surface EMG increase of 11% and in turn caused increase in velocity of action potential . because of the shift of force-velocity ration, power output during squat jump increased by 7%.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • WUP 1 increased maximal twitch torque and twitch contraction time was shortened.
  • Both maximal torque and level of activation was increased.
  • WUP 2 did increase these factors to a certain degree but it was not statistically significant.
  • The more complex and intense warm up WUP 1 caused an increase in the torque of voluntary and electrically stimulated muscle contraction as well as an increase in speed of contraction.
  • WUP 1 also caused a more significant increase of the MVC torque and enhanced muscle activation.
  • Sprinting and intense activities such as this activate motor units to a higher degree than slow running. Muscle activation increased by 12% after WUP 1 and none after WUP 2

The Effect of Warm-Ups Incorporating Different Volumes of Dynamic Stretching on 10- and 20-M Sprint Performance in Highly Trained Male Athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  OLFA TURKI,1,2 ANIS CHAOUACHI,1 DAVID G. BEHM,3 HICHEM CHTARA,1 MOKTAR CHTARA,1 DAVID BISHOP,4 KARIM CHAMARI,1 AND MOHAMED AMRI2 at 1Tunisian Research Laboratory, ‘‘Sports Performance Optimization,’’ National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia; 2Laboratory of Functional Neurophysiology and Pathology, Faculty of Sciences, Tunis, Tunisia; 3School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada; and 4Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 26(1): 63–72, 2012
  • This repeated-measures study examined optimal volumes of dynamic drills by examining varying volumes of 1,2, and 3 sets of active dynamic stretching (ADS) in a warm-up on 10 and 20-m sprint performance
  • It involved 16 highly trained male athletes. Their mean age was 20.9 ± 1.3 years, mean height 179.7 ± 5.7 cm, mean weight 72.7 ± 7.9 kg, mean body fat 10.9 ± 2.4%
  • The subjects came in a total of 5 times including a 2 part orientation session over 9 days 72 hours apart
  • Subjects performed a 5 minute general running warm up, followed by 4 minutes of active rest walking on track then 3 baseline measures of 10- and 20-m sprint trials followed by the three intervention measures of 1,2 or 3 sets of dynamic stretches (ADS1, ADS2, ADS3) of lower body musculature including the gastrocnemius, gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors. These were performed approximately 14 times for each exercise while walking.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • ADS1 and ADS2 increased performance in 20-m sprint but ADS3 probably caused fatigue and so this could be why it decreased performance
  • No protocol increased performance significantly in 10- sprint
  • There was a study that showed that dynamic warm up did not increase performance but that study did not use a walking warm up.

The Effect of Warm-Up, Static Stretching and Dynamic Stretching on Hamstring Flexibility in Previously Injured Subjects

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Kieran O’Sullivan*1,2, Elaine Murray1 and David Sainsbury1,2 at 1Physiotherapy Department, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland and 2Physical Activity, Occupation and Health Research Unit, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  • Published BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2009, 10:37 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-37
  • This study examined the short term  effects of warm-up, static stretching and dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility in individuals with previous hamstring injury and uninjured controls
  • This was a randomized crossover study design over 2 separate days
  • 18 previously injured subjects were used (16 male, 2 female) mean age 21 ± 2 years along with 18 uninjured individuals (control group) (16 male, 2 female) mean age 21 ± 1 years. All participants were involved in competitive sports.
  • On both days passive knee extension ROM was taken four times – 1) baseline 2) after warm up 3) after dynamic or static stretch 4) after  a 15 minute rest
  • Static stretching was don on one day while dynamic stretching was done on another to compare

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • Passive flexibility increased with warm up and further increased with static stretching but decreased after dynamic stretching.
  • The increased flexibility decreased after 15 minutes in both protocols but was still greater than baseline.

The Effects of Adding Different Whole-Body Vibration Frequencies To Preconditioning Exercise on Subsequent Sprint Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By BENT R. RØNNESTAD AND STIAN ELLEFSEN at Faculty of Human, Sports, and Social Sciences, Lillehammer University College, Lillehammer, Norway
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 25(12): 3306–3310, 2011—
  • This study was to investigate PAP by investigating effects of whole-body vibration added to body-loaded half squats  before a 40 m sprint test.
  • It involved 9 male amateur soccer players form Norwegian third and fourth divisions. The average age was 23 ± 2 years, average weight 80 ± 14 kg, average height 183 ± 8 cm. None of them had experience with whole body vibration (WBV) exercise.
  • Subjects performed 6 separate test sessions with 1 familiarization session all performed within a period of 3 weeks. All protocols were repeated 2 times randomly
  • Each session started with a 10 minute standardized warm up (7 min.s jogging 3-4 min 40 m submax runs) followed by 30 seconds of half squats with either whole body vibration at 50 Hz, 30 Hz, or nothing (control). All the protocols were completed on 3 separate test sessions and each repeated twice.
  • The 40 m sprint was performed 1 minute after.

Considerations and Conclusions- 

  • WBV at a frequency of 50 Hz improved performance compared with both WBV at 30 Hz and control

The Effects of Different Intensities and Durations of the General Warm-Up On Leg Press 1RM

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By RENATO BARROSO, CARLA SILVA-BATISTA, VALMOR TRICOLI, HAMILTON ROSCHEL, AND CARLOS UGRINOWITSCH at Laboratory of Neuromuscular Adaptations to Strength Training, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sa˜o Paulo, Sa˜o Paulo, Brazil
  • Published J Strength Cond Res 27(4): 1009–1013, 2013—
  • This study examined effects of different intensities and durations of general warm upon on leg press 1RM
  • The benefit of warm up is to increase muscle temp while avoiding fatigue so duration and intensity needs to examined.
  • It involved sixteen male students who had strength-trained for at least 1 months (performing the 45 degree inclined leg press during regular training) and were physical education majors. The mean age was 24.9 ± 3.2 years, mean weight 76.7 ± 8.2 kg, mean height 176.3 ± 8.0 cm
  • Before normal testing, the subjects performed maximal incremental test on cycle ergometer to determine maximum aerobic capacity as well as 2 familiarization leg press tests
  • The participants were then given 4 genera warm up protocols. The warm up protocols were: 1) short duration moderate intensity (5 minutes at 40% of Vo2 Max) 2) short duration moderate intensity (5 minutes at 70% Vo2 Max) 3) Long duration moderate intensity (15 minutes at 70% Vo2 max) 4)  Control
  • These warm up protocols were done in a randomized order with at least 72 hours between
  • Three minutes after one of the general warm up protocols or control, the subjects did a specific warm up of 1 x 8 and 1 x 3 of 50 and 70%  familiarization session leg press 1RM values. This was separated by a 2 minute interval
    • After the specific warm up the participants rested for 3 minutes and then had 5 attempts to obtain a 1RM value. 3 minutes rests was given between each attempt

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • 1RM was higher on average (3%) when subjects performed long duration low intensity warm up (367.8 ± 70.1 kg) as compared with other warm up conditions.
  • There was no significant difference between other protocols
  • RPE was highest in long duration moderate intensity and well as HR values
  • The long duration moderate intensity consistently decreased leg press 1RM
  • It seems that the rule of doing 5-10 minutes of aerobic activity before is not true tan that you need at least 15-20 minutes or produce performance enhancing benefits. HR should be around 55-60% or HRmax of exercise is performed for 15-20 minutes using 40% of Vo2 max.

The Effects of music during warm-up on anaerobic performance of young sprinters.

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By H. Chtouroua,∗,b, M. Jarrayaa, A. Alouia, O. Hammoudaa, N. Souissi a,c at a Research Laboratory ‘‘Sports performance Optimization’’ National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia b Research Unit, High Institute of Sport and Physical Education, Sfax University, Tunisia
  • Published Science & Sports (2012) 27, e85—e88 doi:10.1016/j.scispo.2012.02.006
  • This study was to assess the effects of listening to music during warm-up on short-term maximal performances
  • It included nine male sprinters mean age 19.56 ± 1.88 years, mean height 176 ± 5.34 cm, and mean weight 71.21 ± 6.31 kg
  • They came in two different occasions 48 hours in between and performed a Wingate test immediately after a 10 min warm up with music or without music
  • The music used was high tempo music (120-140 bpm) and during the warm up, subjects pedaled at 60 rpm against a light load of 1 kg (RPE was asses using 6-20 point Borg scale after warm up and after Wingate Test.
  • The general warm up was done before every warm up protocol except for control in the control the participants jus performed the specific warm up and then were tested

Considerations and Conclusions- 

  • RPE was not significantly altered by music
  • Ppeak and Pmean were significantly higher after music than after non music protocol (p<0.05; + 3.98 ± 3.76 and + 3.92 ± 3.96 but there was no significant difference in fatigue index

The Effects of Warm-up on Physical Performance are not Clear

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Paula R Beckenkamp, C Christine Lin at Musculoskeletal Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Published Br J Sports Med 2011;45:525–526. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090022
  • This was a search and systematic review to investigate effects of warm-up on physical activity. The search was from Medline, SPORTDiscus and PubMed from 1966-April 2008
  • 32 studies were included

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There was not conclusive evidence due to problems in experimental designs.

The Impact of Different Warm-Up Protocols on Vertical Jump Performance In Male Collegiate Athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Brady W. Holt and Kate Lambourne at 1Strength and Conditioning Athletic Department, University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana;  and the Kinesiology Department, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
  • Published Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(1)/226–229, 2008
  • This study was to compare the impact of different types of warm-up on countermovement vertical jump performance.
  • It included 64 male (63 after one was excluded) D1 collegiate football players ranging in age from 18-25 years. The mean age was 20.7 ± 1.8 years and mean weight was 99.69 ± 21.41 kg
  • This was a between subjects control-group design to determine effects of 4 different warm-ups
  • The subjects performed a pretest vertical jump (measured with Vertec) followed by a 5 minute general cardiovascular warm-up. After that they were randomly assigned to one of four groups. The groups were: 1) static stretching (5 passive stretches hamstrings, gluteals, low back, quads, hip flexors all held 3 times for 5 seconds, 2)dynamic warm-up (10 walking lunges, 10 reverse lunges, 10 single leg RDLS and 10 straight leg kicks ea. Leg), 3)dynamic stretching warn up( 10 reps on each leg of 8 different movements- standing front leg swings, standing lateral leg swings, leg scissors to front and side, eagles, scorpions, donkey kciks and lateral swings from knees, and 4) control – no additional warm up
  • Post vertical jumps were done after and as many jumps were done as long as height continued to increase until 2 jumps in a row did not result in touching higher vane.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • There were significant improvements in all conditions including the warm-up without any additional stretching procedure except for the static stretching condition.

The Impact of Stretching on Sports Injury Risk: A Systematic Review or the Literature

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By STEPHEN B. THACKER1, JULIE GILCHRIST2, DONNA F. STROUP3, and C. DEXTER KIMSEY, JR.3 at 1Epidemiology Program Office, 2National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and 3National Center for ChronicDisease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
  • Published Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 371–378, 2004.
  • This was a review of the literature to see if stretching actually prevents injuries in sports and to make recommendation for research and prevention
  • MEDLINE, Current Contents, Biomedical Collection, Cochrane Library and SPORTDiscus were searched
  • Flexibility was defined here as the intrinsic property of the body tissues that determines the range of motion achievable without injury at a joint or group of joints.
  • The authors state that a lack of flexibility does not account for muscle injures that occur within normal ROM but an imbalance in flexibility in individual athletes might predispose to injury.
  • The authors say that the literature supports that PNF has not been proven to be better than static but that they are better at increasing Rom than dynamic stretching. They also say that the literature supports that stretches of 15-30s are better at improving ROM than shorter durations and that longer periods do not seem to provide any better results.

Considerations and Conclusions

  • Stretching was not found to significantly lower chance of injury

The Use of Static Stretching in Warm-Up for Training and Competition

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Warren B. Young at School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, Ballarat Victoria 3353 Australia.
  • Published International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2007;2:212-216
  • This was a commentary of the use of static stretching
  • It has been found that static stretching does not improve performance and that it can impair it but because many athletes think that it does help them it can be psychologically damaging to their performance if it is suddenly eliminated.

Time Course of Changes in Vertical Jumping Ability After Static Stretching

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By  Jason Brandenburg, William A. Pitney, Paul E. Luebbers, Arun Veera, and Alicja Czajka at Dept of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 60115.
  • Published International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2007;2:170-181
  • This study was to determine acute effects of static stretch on countermovement vertical jump(calculated on a jump-timingmat)
  • It included 18 participants – 9 men and 9 women. The mean height for men was 183.2 ± 9.1 cm, mean weight 84.2 ± 6.5 kg, mean age 22.3 ± 1.9 years. The mean height for women was 167.6 ± 13.5 cm, mean weight 68.5 ± 17.1 kg, mean age 21.4 ± 1.6 years. They all had previous jumping experience some being athletes.
  • The participants came in 3 different times the first being a familiarization session including performing 15 max effort vertical jumps with 15 seconds standing rest between jumps, then resting for 5 minutes in seated position before another 5 max effort jumps. They also were introduced to stretches.
  • For the next two sessions the subjects were randomly assigned to a control treatment and a static stretch  lower body protocol of 3 static-stretching exercises each repeated 3 times held for 30s each. They performed these two sessions at least 24 hours apart.
  • Warm up 5 minutes of bicycle ergometer at self-selected intensity was first, then the participants performed a pretest vertical jump and then stretched or rested for 9 minutes.
  • Vertical jump was then also taken immediately after as well as 3 minutes, 6 minutes, 12 minutes and 24 minutes after.

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • EMG data taken for this study showed no difference in pre to post-test with stretching
  • There are mixed finding in the literature that show that static stretching does not affect performance and the authors propose that the inconsistencies in these findings may be in the protocol of stretching specifically the duration. The 30 s used in this study may not be long enough to decrease performance. However Young and Elliot and Wallmann et al used brief stretch durations just as in this study but found a decrease in performance.
  • For control – pretest vertical was an average of 48.4 ±9.8 cm and posttest was 46.8 ± 9.5 cm.
  • For stretching protocol – pretest vertical was an average of 47.1 ± 9.7 cm and posttest was 45.7 ± 9.2 cm.
  • The lowered vertical jump heights for both protocols remained depressed for the full 24 minutes after.
  • There was no significant reduction in performance with stretching compared with inactivity
  • The authors propose that due to the findings that vertical jump performance decreased after inactivity, that being inactive after warm ups for extended periods of times decreases performance.

To Stretch or Not to Stretch: The Role of Stretching in Injury Prevention and Performance

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By M.P. McHugh and C.H. Cosgrave at Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, New York, USA
  • Published Scand J Med Sci Sports 2010: 20: 169–181 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01058.x
  • This was a review of whether stretching effects injury and performance or not
  • Increasing passive stiffness does not increase with 4 x 30s (2 min) and 2 x 45s (1.5 min) protocol but 5 x 60s (5 min) and 4 x 90s (6 min) appears to be effective.
  • The time needed to decrease passive stiffness with static stretching would be in the range of 40-60 min. for both sides and all muscles involved in sport activity. This is much longer than any athlete would be willing to do before competition.
  • Viscoelastic effect means decreased passive resistance to stretch
  • There is no significant strength loss with dynamic stretching
  • Fore pre-competition preparation the research seems to support that athletes should 1) keep pre stretching to muscle groups known to be at risk for a sport 2) apply at least four to five 60 s stretches to pain tolerance to target muscle groups and perform bilaterally in order to be confident of decreasing passive resistance to stretch 3) avoid any lingering stretch-induced stretch loss, perform dynamic pre-participation drills before performance 9sub max ball kicking or dribbling skills etc.)

Warm-Up Practices in Elite Snowboard Athletes

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Ben C Sporer, Anita Cote, and Gordon Sleivert at the Human Performance Laboratory, Sport Service MAPEI, Castellanza, Italy.
  • Published International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2012, 7, 295-297
  • This project was to observe current warm up practices in snowboard athlete and evaluate physiological impact before competition
  • An observational design was used to monitor 4 athletes (2 female) at an Open National Snowboard Cross Championships.
  • Activity patterns and core temperature as well as HR and time was taken an recorded during warm-up and competition
  • Athletes were asked to rate their thermal comfort and thermal sensation before comeptition
  • Moderate aerobic exercise of 10 to 20 minutes has been shown to increase muscle temp. and enhance energy production at start of subsequent activity but the study did not observe an elevated sustained heart rate for at least 10 minutes needed to do this

Considerations and Conclusions-

  • It was observed that there are gaps in warm up to competition for snowboarding.
  • The intensity and duration of warm up is not sufficient to raise adequate temperature and the optimal length between warm up and competition needs to be determined.

Warm-Up Reduces Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness but Cool-Down Does Not: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Synopsis and Findings of Study-

  • By Robert YW Law and Robert D Herbert at the University of Sydney, Australia
  • Published Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 2007 53: 91–95.
  • This study was to determine if warm up and/or cool down reduces DOMS
  • The study utilized a 2 x 2 factorial design
  • It involved 52 participants – 23 men and 29 women ages 17-40 mean age 21 ± 4
  • They were divided into four equally-sized groups and either had a warm up and cool down, warm up only, cool down only, or neither warm-up nor cool-down
  • Everyone began by sitting for 10 minutes and the subjects in the no warm-up group sat for 10 more minutes.
  • Warm up and cool down consisted of walking forward uphill on a very low incline (3 degrees) for 10 minutes at 4.5-5kph.
  • The subjects performed 30 minutes of eccentric exercise ( walking backwards downhill on treadmill inclined at 13 degrees for 30 minutes at 35 steps per minute, leading with the right leg) to try to cause muscle soreness and those in the cool down group performed 10 minutes of cool down while the other groups sat for 10 minutes.
  • Muscle soreness in gastrocnemius of right leg was assessed 10 minutes after exercise and in 24 hour intervals over three days.
  • Soreness was rated on a 100-mm visual analogue scale anchored at no pain and most severe pain and a 10 point numerical rating scale anchored at “no pain” and “most severe pain.”

Considerations and Conclusions-

A threat to the validity of the findings is that participants could not be blinded because they needed to report on pain and soreness.

  • Warm-up was shown to decrease DOMS but it was not very high significance and this was  small sample size
  • Cool down was not shown to decrease DOMS at all.

Bret’s Synopsis

When examining the big picture, here are some take-away points:

  • Dynamic stretching is king
  • Don’t hold static stretches for too long prior to explosive performance
  • Do dynamic stuff after static stuff to clear the negative effects prior to explosive performance
  • Don’t fatigue the body too much during warm-ups
  • Increasing temperature is a primary priority (and maintaining an increased temp)
  • PAP works but needs to be individualized to the athlete
  • Moving the body through large active ranges of motion might be more important than core stability and glute activation drills for sprint warm-ups, however, the opposite may be true for rotational power such as swinging
  • Exercises themselves such as hang cleans can make for good warm-up activities prior to explosive performance testing

Author Bio

Jesse Irizarry is a Division 1 collegiate strength and conditioning coach who gets fired if he doesn’t produce actual results. He is on a personal vendetta against the nonsense being presented as strength training and performance advice. Jesse coaches athletes of all kinds, helps them reach their full potential, and keeps a blog at www.jdiperformance.com.

jesse-bottom

8 Comments

  • Stew says:

    Wow, information overload. Great list of studies there.

  • Very useful information. I work with ice hockey players and some of them (usually the younger ones) doesn’t understand the benefits of a good warm-up and a good overall flexibility.

    We know dynamic stretch is better than static, but, for someone who lacks a lot of flexibility, do you think is better to begin with statics? Some dynamic movement are impaired by other muscles that lacks flexibility.

    Like you mention, PAP can be useful only if we know the athlete we work with. I’ll add the athlete has to know himself and how he feels to use PAP effectively.

    Thanks Brett and Jesse for these notes.

  • Jack says:

    That is quite the amount of findings, but great stuff. I do need to incorporate more warm ups into my exercises, but maybe not as much as I thought.

  • Jesse says:

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. Glad you enjoyed this and that it could help.

    Phil- I can’t speak for Bret, but performing static stretching before a workout, even for someone who is very limited in ROM, doesn’t seem to be a good idea. If an athlete is severely limited so that he can’t perform dynamic movement drills though full ROM, I wouldn’t have him in a regular strength training program anyway until we addressed and corrected this. As far as incorporating static stretching during this “correction” time – it could be useful, but we also need to remember that the term “flexibility” has sometimes been misused and, for some, motor pattern grooving in gross movement is as important as actively stretching muscle groups. That’s a discussion in and of itself, though.

    • Jesse- Totally agree with you on statics before a workout. I know I was not very clear, but I was referring before a game or a practice. Let’s say a player has tight psoas and/or rectus femoris. Would you think it can help to have some short time static stretch, just to bring to muscle to a “normal” length? Of course after, some dynamic stretch should be perform.

      I was thinking about that because you probably know it’s hard to sit out a player only if he has some muscles tightness!

  • Shane says:

    Whoa that’s a ton of studies.

    Not the casual read I was looking for … but a pretty awesome resource to refer back to 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    I made it through about one third and almost passed out. Saved for continued reading, thank you!!!

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