>> December 30, 2010
Therefore, it has potential to turn the last-place into a gold medalist in the Olympic sprint events because 2% is an improvement from 10.00s to 9.80s! or 20.00s to 19.60s!
Note that the top three fastest human on earth, Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell are including the dynamic stretching in their warm-ups.
I was doing a research entitled “the effects of dynamic and static stretch on 30 and 40 meters sprints performances among junior sprinters” in 2009. I found that sprint performances improved 2.1% (30 metres) and 2.3% (40 metres) when athletes performed the dynamic stretching.
You may surprised if I mention that many athletes at all levels still performing the static stretching until these days. I’ve seen a Commonwealth champion and World class athletes performed either static stretching, passive-static stretching (with partner) or a combination of static and dynamic stretching to prepare their muscles for workouts and competitions.
However, many researchers believe that as long as the static stretching is included in the warm-up session then it has the deleterious effects and inhibits the sprint performances (3).
What are the static and dynamic stretchings?
Static stretching is a constant stretch held at an end point of range of motion, means it involve no movement or to hold the stretch for some time. Usually an athlete performs the static stretching for 8-20seconds in a 1-3 sets.
Dynamic stretching involves the dynamic movement but within the range of motion (ROM). So, you should stretch by increasing the ROM gradually and not involves a bouncing-type movement (1). Dynamic stretching should utilize the specific movement in sports (activity) to prepare the muscles for the sports or activity.
|Dynamic Stretching called 'Scorpion' to stretch lower back muscles area|
The reason why you shouldn’t do the static stretching is that you’re not warming up your muscle enough because the muscles contraction does not occurs. Many findings has mentioned that static stretching is limiting the flexibility, thus one is exposed the likelihood of injury. Static stretching also decreases the muscle activation, thus affecting in the sprint performances. However, it can be done after workout or for a warm down.
Whereas sprint performances improved following the dynamic stretching could be linked to the rehearsal of specific movement patterns, which may help increase coordination of subsequent movement (2). Dynamic stretching also increases core temperature to a greater extent than the static stretching (1). Other benefits following the dynamic stretching appear in numerous studies likes to improve power, strength, flexibility, muscular endurance and coordination, which are not seen when performing static stretching.
(1) Mark Kovacs (2010). Dynamic Stretching (the Revolutionary New Warm-up Method to Improve Power, Performance and Range of Motion).
(2) Fletcher and B. Jones (2004). The effect of different warm-up stretch protocols on 20 meter sprint performance in trained rugby union players.
(3) Arnold G. Nelson, Nicole M. Driscoll, Dennis K. Landin, Michael A. Young, & Irving C. Schexnayder (2005). Acute effects of passive muscle stretching on sprints performances.
Photos: copied from notarunner.com & flex4fitness.com