Warm-ups vs. Stretching
Now, lets first review definitions.
- Active (increasing tissue temperature through active
- Passive (increasing tissue temperature through
passive external means, such as a hot pack)
- General (multipurpose exercises, such as
light jogging, lightly jumping side to side, lightly
swinging arms and/or legs, etc.)
- Sport specific (movements that mimic
the actions of the particular activity about to be
- Static (a stretch held still in a static position
for 20-60 seconds, at a position of slight stain,
but not pain!)
- Dynamic (repeating, rhythmic and undulating motions)
- Ballistic (typically involves bouncing/jerking
motions and may be forceful; often the muscles are
stretched near their true limit. Generally this method
is viewed as something to avoid)
- PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation)
stretching (performed by slowly alternating active
contractions and relaxations of a muscle and its
opposite muscle group – “agonists and
antagonists.” This very is very effective when
Typically people automatically start a warm-up with
static stretching of cold muscles, assuming that this
is an effective method that would prevent injury.
However, things are not quite that straightforward.
The overall conclusion of research on this topic is
that there is not a clear link between static
stretching cold muscles and preventing injury Evidence
says that sometimes certain static stretches, especially
if done incorrectly or on cold muscles, actually increase
chances of injury during an event. Long-hold static
stretching doesn’t automatically increase muscle
temperature and may lead to some deactivation and/or “micro-tearing” of
cold muscles and other soft tissues.
Break the Board is a great overall full body
flowing dynamic stretch exercise, taken right from Bassai.
Reach both arms out fully to head height, draw the navel
to the spine and keep the back heel contacting the floor
at the same time. Try to get as much length from the
back heel to the tips of the fingers as comfortably possible,
slowly and firmly making the transition to the single
leg stance as you bring the hands down beside
the knee or even further back, and hold the pose while
breathing out for long enough to take a picture. Repeat
equally on both sides at even intervals, warming the
hips, ankles and shoulders.