Stone_et_al.__2006___Stretching_mini_review

Stone_et_al.__2006___Stretching_mini_review - National...

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Stretching: Acute and Chronic? The Potential Consequences Mike Stone, PhD, Michael W. Ramsey, PhD, Ann M. Kinser East Tennessee State University, Johnson City,Tennessee Harold S. O’Bryant, PhD Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina Chris Ayers, MS East Tennessee State University, Johnson City,Tennessee William A. Sands, PhD United States Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, Colorado © National Strength and Conditioning Association Volume 28, Number 6, pages 66–74 Keywords: acute stretching; chronic stretching; range of motion Introduction S tretching can be defined as the act of applying tensile force to lengthen muscle and connective tissue. Often stretching is performed as part of a warm-up prior to physical exer- tion. Typically, stretching is used to en- hance the range of motion (ROM) about a joint (flexibility). The resulting enhancement may be viewed as acute (temporary) or chronic. There are many different types of stretch- ing that can be performed. A quick look at the internet (under “stretching”) of- fers a variety of stretching types and methods, including: Ballistic stretching Dynamic stretching Active stretching Passive (or relaxed) stretching Static stretching Isometric stretching Proprioceptive neuromuscular facili- tation stretching Although in some cases the nature of these methods is essentially the same, it gives the coach/athlete a wide variety of methods from which to choose when acutely or chronically stretching. Although, the exact timing and degree of stretching varies somewhat from sport to sport, there are basically 2 forms of stretching taking place on a regular basis among athletes: first is acute stretching (as part of a warm-up process), and second is chronic stretch- ing that is often quite extensive and usually occurs after a training session. Athletes and coaches commonly hold 2 beliefs concerning these 2 forms of stretching: (a) acute stretching (part of warm-up) may increase performance and will reduce the injury potential of exercise; (b) chronic stretching will in- crease performance, reduce aches and pains, and reduce the injury potential of exercise and sports performance. However, data exist indicating that these beliefs may not be completely true. The purpose of this paper is to answer several basic questions concerning stretching and its relationship to sports performance, with a particular focus on gymnastics. Will Warm-Up (Acute) Stretch- ing Produce a Better Perfor- mance? Table 1 shows the results of studies deal- ing with the relationship of various ac- tivities and various performance charac- teristics that would have effects on sport. Although not all studies show a decrease in performance, the large ma- jority do indicate that acute stretching s u m m a r y Stretching is commonly used by many athletes in different sports. Al- though acute stretching, as part of a warm-up, can enhance range of mo- tion, it may also reduce performance.
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