Static Stretching

Posted In: The Classics

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    lorien on #30544

    It was more of an empty statement addressing the importance of flexibility work done before things get serious. For sprinters; two heats of running close to 100% might just have consequences the following day when the semifinal and final is run, if youâ??re not prepared enough. For jumpers; three jumps in the qualification might also have their trails the following days if not prepared enough.

    When youâ??re in prime form your body does a little more than youâ??re used to â?¦ surprise might come the next day.

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    Jay Turner on #30545

    [i]Originally posted by lorien[/i]
    It was more of an empty statement addressing the importance of flexibility work done before things get serious. For sprinters; two heats of running close to 100% might just have consequences the following day when the semifinal and final is run, if youâ??re not prepared enough. For jumpers; three jumps in the qualification might also have their trails the following days if not prepared enough.

    When youâ??re in prime form your body does a little more than youâ??re used to â?¦ surprise might come the next day.

    I understand that as well lorien. . . .

    But if you have tapered in the days leading up to your peak meet, this means you more than likely were have sessions with reps of max or near max intensity, then how do you get sore for one meet? You have done workouts like this all week.

    For example, periodization was horrible for the year but then your 7 day taper was pretty good. How is it possible to be sore for your peak meet?

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    lorien on #30546

    Letâ??s put it this way … during a few major championships â?¦ lots of the guys running 100m and advancing to the semis and some to the final looked pretty sore warming up for the 200m. The same can be said for the guys who had to PR or SB in the preliminaries in order to run in the semis the next day. We used to laugh about how some tried to hide it.

    Maybe we have a different understanding of tapering. During the last week I would avoid the same stimulus as in competition, meaning 100% all out. If you injure yourself even slightly inside the tapering period â?¦ youâ??re also f****d â?? no time to heal.

    I have a difficult time arguing with you because Iâ??m pretty much agreeing with you on all aspects. The difference is probably in how I look at major championships. The event usually takes a few days (in triple jump three days). And sometimes athletes have to push themselves to their limit or over, in order to advance in to the finals. And when you PR a day or two before the final, it CAN sometimes make your body ache and you donâ??t necessarily feel too good at warm up the next day. It definitely helps having a good base flexibility at that point. The flexibility is created earlier to help you in these kinds of circumstances.

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #30547

    Todd-
    If what you meant in your question was what DaGov described then yes, I think strength training definitely can have a HUGE effect on flexibility. The effect however is not always a positive one. For example, if repeated limited range of motion (ROM) exercises are used without balancing their use with either FULL range of motion lifts, mobility, or flexibility work then I think that it can negatively affect ROM. If on the other hand exercises are done through FULL ranges of motion such as Olympic style DEEP squats, overhead squats, or RDLs then I can actually see it as one of the best types of flexibility training their is. This is because it not only develops the ROM of a joint but does so in a functional manner while concurrently developing strength through the complete range of motion that the human body is meant to move through.

    Re: Tightness on big competition days-
    In addition to Lorien’s comments, I’d like to add that tightness on a big competition day could be just as much or more to do with nerves than any periodization issue. This is because what is commonly referred to as “muscle tone or tonus” is primarily controlled by the autonomic nervous system and as a result would be highly effected by anxiety and stress levels.

    Lorien-
    Nice comments! I’ve had similar thoughts on your statements regarding flexibility work providing a “buffer zone” for power output and thereby decreasing the chance of injury associated with high power output work. I flip flop a little on the subject but my current thinking is that this may be the case. Since this thread seems to be a good one, I’ll post my thoughts on both sides of this argument:

    Pro: Speed and power activities require a compliant musculotendonous unit which is capable of storing and releasing high amounts of elastic energy. If the musculotendonous unit is not sufficiently compliant to meet the demands of energy absorption and release they may exceed the limit of the musculotendonous unit and result in injury. Some forms of stretching have been shown to increase the viscosity and compliancy of the musculotendonous unit and as a result would be expected to decrease the likelihood of injury.

    Con: Speed and power activities require a musculotendonous unit that is compliant but also capable of adequately transmitting the forces of both the muscles responsible for movement and those responsible for joint stabilization. As such, while power outputs may be restrained by the “buffer zone,” so might the ability of stabilizing muscles to adequately protect a joint from injury. In addition to this, tendons are the primary mechanisms for feedback to the central nervous system on muscle tension and length changes. If the tendon is made to lax, this mechanism may be compromised and increase the chance of injury.

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    Jay Turner on #30548

    [i]Originally posted by lorien[/i]
    Letâ??s put it this way … during a few major championships â?¦ lots of the guys running 100m and advancing to the semis and some to the final looked pretty sore warming up for the 200m. The same can be said for the guys who had to PR or SB in the preliminaries in order to run in the semis the next day. We used to laugh about how some tried to hide it.

    Maybe we have a different understanding of tapering. During the last week I would avoid the same stimulus as in competition, meaning 100% all out. If you injure yourself even slightly inside the tapering period â?¦ youâ??re also f****d â?? no time to heal.

    I have a difficult time arguing with you because Iâ??m pretty much agreeing with you on all aspects. The difference is probably in how I look at major championships. The event usually takes a few days (in triple jump three days). And sometimes athletes have to push themselves to their limit or over, in order to advance in to the finals. And when you PR a day or two before the final, it CAN sometimes make your body ache and you donâ??t necessarily feel too good at warm up the next day. It definitely helps having a good base flexibility at that point. The flexibility is created earlier to help you in these kinds of circumstances.

    In this way I kind of see what you mean. And as you said, I have a hard time arguing anything because I agree with you as well.

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    Jay Turner on #30549

    [i]Originally posted by mike[/i]
    Todd-
    If what you meant in your question was what DaGov described then yes, I think strength training definitely can have a HUGE effect on flexibility. The effect however is not always a positive one. For example, if repeated limited range of motion (ROM) exercises are used without balancing their use with either FULL range of motion lifts, mobility, or flexibility work then I think that it can negatively affect ROM. If on the other hand exercises are done through FULL ranges of motion such as Olympic style DEEP squats, overhead squats, or RDLs then I can actually see it as one of the best types of flexibility training their is. This is because it not only develops the ROM of a joint but does so in a functional manner while concurrently developing strength through the complete range of motion that the human body is meant to move through.

    In case you don’t kno mike, I do Power Cleans, Hang Cleans, Push Presses, “Regular” Deadlifts, “Regular” Squats, and Bench Press on my Speed/Power days. My auxilliary days are just your normal dumbbell exercises most people do. KNowing this, how would my flexibility be affected?

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #30550

    You don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t even think it would be much of a problem if all you did was partial ROM weight lifting exercises as long as it was supplemented with mobility or flexibility work. This however wouldn’t provide the benefits I stated for FULL range of motion lifts.

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    Jay Turner on #30551

    [i]Originally posted by mike[/i]
    You don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t even think it would be much of a problem if all you did was partial ROM weight lifting exercises as long as it was supplemented with mobility or flexibility work. This however wouldn’t provide the benefits I stated for FULL range of motion lifts.

    1. Can you give me some examples of ROM exercises I could incorporate into my program? And how would I supplement mobility or flexibility work in my program?

    2. What exactly wouldn’t provide the benefits you stated for FULL range of motion lifts? I didn’t understand that last part.

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    Derrick Brito on #30552

    [i]Originally posted by mike[/i]
    If what you meant in your question was what DaGov described then yes, I think strength training definitely can have a HUGE effect on flexibility. The effect however is not always a positive one. For example, if repeated limited range of motion (ROM) exercises are used without balancing their use with either FULL range of motion lifts, mobility, or flexibility work then I think that it can negatively affect ROM. If on the other hand exercises are done through FULL ranges of motion such as Olympic style DEEP squats, overhead squats, or RDLs then I can actually see it as one of the best types of flexibility training their is. This is because it not only develops the ROM of a joint but does so in a functional manner while concurrently developing strength through the complete range of motion that the human body is meant to move through.

    i think is the answer youre looking for dagov

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    Carson Boddicker on #30553

    being a distance runner, should i be worried about the power output loss if i stretch after my warmup for the 5000?

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #30554

    Although distance runners likely won’t see the power and force decrements that speed / power athletes will, the evidence for stretching as a CAUSE for injury is much stronger among athletes that do not have as high a need for the tendon compliancy that I spoke of in one of my previous posts. This evidence however is all concluded from research where the stretching is performed prior to the activity. In light of this and some of the previous points I’ve mentioned, I think distance runners actually have a greater need to do static stretching (done post-workout or intermittently throughout the workout to prevent injury during the performance of the activity) than sprinters because they are so prone to tightness in the Achilles, hamstring, and low back. I think that this tightness is most likely due to an extension of one of my previous points….many repetitions of partial ROM activity (which distance running essentially is) will most likely limit flexibility and joint ROM unless it is supplemented by mobility or flexibility work.

    As a side note, let’s keep up the great discussion. This thread is bordering on “Classic” status. I”m especially anxious to here input from Todd, KT, and Phoenix on all this. topic

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    Carson Boddicker on #30555

    thanks..great points.

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    dma1973 on #30556

    I’m enjoying this.

    I stretch most days after training (takes 40 – 60 minutes) of static stretching. I have noticed a greater amount of soreness if I miss this session. PnF is a great way to stretch if you have a partner to help (I don’t)

    Nice point about full range exercises, partials cause alot of problemsin the gym. Mind you I am sick of people at the gym telling me not to full squats and olympic lifting (What the hell is a lifting platform and squat rack for?)

    Re: distance runners – I’m with Mike. I would of thought distance runners would get a lot of tightness through the back.

    I have been coaching an athlete who likes the older style warmup – run than stretch for 20 minutes, we are currently changing this to more of an active one – they have noticed the difference when we get into proper training. I do allow them 2 x 5 minutes static stretching if they want during the warm up.

    I regard to being too flexibility isn’t it the same as being too strong?

    I can’t comment on research or science, but if it works use it – as long as it fits into programme.

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #30557

    [i]Originally posted by DMA[/i]
    In regard to being too flexible isn’t it the same as being too strong?

    Nope. Not even close. In my opinion, it is impossible to be too strong. This of course is said assuming that the pursuit of additional strength isn’t coming at the cost of advancement in other areas which may be lacking. On the other hand, it is quite easy to be too flexible in my opinion. A hyperflexible joint is an injury waiting to happen and certainly not one best suited for maximum power or force output. ROM far beyond normal limits is typically indicative of joint laxity and / or ligament creep. Because the ligaments are the means by which muscles transfer their force to the skeletal system, if they are too compliant (i.e. like taffy rather than a rubber band) then the transfer of torque from the contractile components of muscle to the skeletal system for movement will be greatly diminished. To get a better picture of this, imagine a truck attempting to tow a car. Now imagine that a piece of bungee cord is the only mechanism linking the truck to the car. If that bungee cord is an industrial strength, high-tension bungee cord, and there is no laxity in the cord as the truck begins to move then we would expect that the pulling forces generated by the truckwould quickly and efficiently be applied to the car and the car would begin to move. If however, that cord has been stretched beyond its elastic limit such it there is now some slack in the cord before the truck begins to pull, then the slack must be removed from the cord before any of the pulling forces generated by the truck would be transferred to the car. So in this scenario, we would see that the truck would pull but the car would remain stationary until all of the slack had been taken out of the cord. If we take this a step further, and not only have a cord with some slack in it but also replace our industrial strength, high-tension bungee cord with one of lesser elastic strength characteristics, then we would see that the pulling forces of the truck would not be transferred to the car until BOTH the slack had been taken out of the cord AND the cord had been stretched to a point where it was capable of producing enough tension to transfer the pulling forces from the truck to the car. In this example, the pulling action of the truck represents that of the muscles, the car represents the bone to which the muscle attaches, and the bungee cord would be the tendons attaching the muscle to the bone. When tendons are elongated (which is what occurs as a result of excessive stretching / flexibility) we get into situations where there may be slack and / or decreased tension capacities as in the example above. As compelling as this example is (at least to me) it would be made even stronger if we looked at the neurological effects of excessive stretching in addition to the mechanical effects of stretching.

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    dma1973 on #30558

    I understand that thanks Mike. Just threw it out there.

    I was thinking more from a practical point of view.

    Nice reply. 😀

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