Stretching is NOT Warmup


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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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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