Stretching is NOT Warmup

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How clear can that be? Yet I still see teams wallow around on the ground for ten or fifteen minutes at the start of practice to “warm-up.” How stupid can this be, we certainly know better but this is still a prevalent practice. When someone pulls a muscle it is usually blamed on the fact that they did stretch enough before training, how absurd! I always use the analogy of the cat or dog who is wakes up from a nap, they do not stretch they move slowly and rhythmically first through progressively bigger ranges of motion. If they are scared out of a dead sleep they burst away. A few years this was the topic in a roundtable and Art Venegas, the Track & Filed Coach at UCLA put it quite well, how many times do you see someone stealing hub caps on a car pull a muscle. It is pure flight or fright, all they are thinking about is getting the hell out of there. Kind of doubt they stretched for twenty minutes before. There is a lesson there. If you are spending more that 2 – 3 minutes static stretching as part of you warm-up you are wasting time! Flexibility work has a definite place in a comprehensive training program. The flexibility work should be based on individual needs, not group stretching.
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