Static vs. Dynamic Stretching before workouts

I’ve heard static stretching causes lower power outputs temporarily, but dynamic stretching does not.

Fact, or fiction? Are both types of stretching good before a sprint workout, or is one better than the other?

What is a sample warmup?(not just stretches…everything)

Thanks a lot.

This is my usual warm-up. I find this gets me well prepared for workouts.

-8X70m or 8X100m striders
-Various dynamic stretching
-Quadrupted Circuit
-few 20m accels
-static stretching after

Static vs. Dynamic Stretching before workouts

I’ve heard static stretching causes lower power outputs temporarily, but dynamic stretching does not.

Fact, or fiction? Are both types of stretching good before a sprint workout, or is one better than the other?

What is a sample warmup?(not just stretches…everything)

Thanks a lot.

Dynamic Stretches are better before a workout. Just think of it this way, wat do i want to do before a workout, get the blood flowing and the body warm with some dynamic movements, constantly change position, or be holding single positions for 5-15 seconds, keeping the blood circulation average and the body just cool?

Static streches can be done before main part of the workout, but they should NOT be too intense or too long held, because you dont want to cool down while beeing relaxed in strech position and dont want you explosivenes (and running eficiency) to decrease.
My warm-up routine consist of general and specific warm-up:

  1. Slow jog or vairious drills in place (jummping jacks etc) for about 5 mins or more (till I feel the heat)
  2. Joint rotations (head circles etc) ~8x
  3. Easy streching held at about 6-8sec (to kill thyxotrophy in muscles)
  4. Couple of push-ups, lunges or McGill back exercises (Big Three)
    Specific (for sprint)
  5. 20-30m drills
    • Easy jumps in place + walking on heals etc
    • Ankling
    • Butt-kicks
    • Skip
    • A & B drills
    • carioca etc…
  6. Dynamic streching
  7. Couple of push-ups, lunges etc.
  8. If tempo is done then finish, if HI training is done then do some easy flyings

Specific (for the gym)

  1. Various lifting with the bar only (or with some added weights)5-10x:
    • biceps curls + press
    • squat
    • vertical rowing
    • good mornings
    • rowing
    • lunges
    • DL
    • etc
  2. Before every station do 1-2 warm-up set, about 50% for 10x or less

Hope I helped…

I’ve found that my flexibility really improves if I do active-isolated stretching pre workout. I just don’t have the patience to go through a whole stretching routine before hand so I do alot of dynamic stuff like on the GPP dvd. I think that an 800m jog is probably the most beneficial part of a warm-up in terms of raising core temp and getting the blood flowing.

On a side note, I think static stretching post workout has alot of benefits… One being the relaxing effect on muscles.

Static stretches can relax the muslces a bit. What it all comes down to is that you want a certain amount of stiffness in the muscle to generate a stretch reflex during the sporting movement. Optimum is an ideal balance between range of movement (stiffness) and muscle tone (amount of contraction at rest) so it is possible to be too flexible. You need to have enough range of motion to sprint but not too much more because you want to cause a certian amount of strecth in the muscle (in the posterior chain at the top of knee lift and in the hip flexors at full extension).

I use both static and dynamic stretching as aprt of a warm up. The static stretches are for short durations <10s and are used as an inspection tool to check the muscle status and flag up any tight spots. the dynamic stretches are used prepare the muscles for work.

Theoretically you should be flexible enough at the beginning of the session to not require any stretching but in reality you will always have done a session in the preceeding days so there will always be areas that need some small amount of attention.

You also have to bear in mind that the range of motion for static vs dynamic stretches can be quite different.

Anyone ever use EQI’s in their warm-up?

Depending on the circumstances almost anything can be done anywhere.

If you get to the track and you are very tight the only option might be to do some PNF stretching to loosen up and then do an extended warmup and dynamic stretching to reset the gorgi tendon reflex etc…

However, in such a situation the better question might be why am i stiff in the first place? Should i really train today? Perhaps low intensity med ball or something might be a better option.

If you plan right you shouldn’t be stiff in the first place.

Fact or Fiction?..I say S-c-i-e-n-c-e!
The key is the time under stretch.

Guy Voyer was telling a story about the first time he went to a hockey game in North America. While all the players were stretching before the game, Guy was confused. He asked the guy he came with whether they (the players) are actually going to play or if they were witnessing an off-season preparation session?
Guy also questioned why Olympic athletes would statically stretch before their events. “Their not ready! their at the Olympics and you have to stertch? What were they doing in the off-season? If an athlete has to focus on flexibility 3 weeks before the event the coach should take the athlete out of the competition”.


Perhaps Number Two and Charlie can update us on what he did with Marion and Tim at York with their PNF stretches. They were running very fast then! World record speeds…sorry they would have run faster than world record speeds if they didn’t do PNF. :mad:

Let’s not categorically disallow static stretches before practise or competition – there is no reason to be dogmatic, it’s better to adjust to any given situation with a repertoire of different solutions. First of all, certain muscles “tolerate” static stretching better than other muscles. Second, there can be problems in muscles that aren’t sufficiently accessible with dynamic stretches, but anyway need to be altered before practice or competition (e.g., the piriformis, some specific lower back muscles etc.). Third, the evidence of power loss by static stretches is somewhat diffuse; surely time under stretch and magnitude of stretch must affect this – what about lighter and shorter static stretches (what’s the perimeter for them, it must be individually decided)? Also, people react differently to different stretching protocols, also with regards to the time in the training year.

Look at what Clemson is saying. PNF stretching does reduce power output - we know that. But Charlie still uses them and still gets fast times from sessions where they are used. How can this be? Is he a complete moron? The debate continues… :smiley:

My point is that the LSU study was clear (I wish more were done like it) and the protocols indicated a loss of speed in their sprint times. My arguement is that the “power loss” could be negated by more warm-ups to recharge the nervous system or to reset tonus after the streching. I don’t think a static stretch or PNF stretch would not last for hours and perhaps Charlie’s techniques of training hint that other factors of a complete program can remove the “power loss”. While I wasn’t at York to see every facet, he has trained my athletes and some very minor adjustments and details unknown and not shared yet added up to great workouts. Many times I adjust warm-ups to open up muscle groups and sometimes have athletes walk for a few minutes to relax a stretched area still locked up from a drive to the track or sitting in class all day. When you are doing warm-ups the right way you can be on the track for 45 minutes before any speed work. If you do some pnf stretches at minute 15 after some drills and warm up procedures and then 30 minutes later start sprinting perhaps that is long enough that the “nervous system shut down” from the stretches are removed. Now an athlete is loose without the power losses. Another thing Charlie shared was that warm-ups should be long and include general work to keep the internal heat higher to open up the joints and many times small units of exercises were incorporated to achieve this.

Again long warm-ups are not popular. When many performance places are working with athletes I see some “Dynamic warm-ups” with some exercises trying to clone a Mark Verstegen or Seagraves because the lazy coaches just went to a seminar to “pick up some things i can use by monday” . Movement Monkey Coaches (coaches that like new exercises instead of better concepts) see a cool or sexy exercise and want to use them. This is very dangerous.

Some dynamic exercises are in fact poor choices if done with the wrong athlete at the wrong time.

Starting (when the body is cold) with movements that include loaded positions (bodyweight) in extreme ranges of motion can cause microtears and possible injuries later in the workout.

Also insufficent strength levels, structural weakness, and other factors are likely to be a problem with youths of today. Too many warm-ups stink today and it makes me puke what coaches think is good enough. No wonder kids are injured all the time.

No. Im not sure that would go well. Would their be a good reason too?
This year I did alot of EQi’s with my squash players in the off-season. Ill report my findings at the begginning of the year06.

In some research I read it said EQI’s performed 5-8 minutes before training will result in increased stride frequency and maximal strength. It also says they lengthen the SEC and help to prevent injuries. I’ve had success with them, using them at the end of the weight training session. I’m going to start experimenting them before speed sessions. I’ll report on how they go.

The question I have to ask myself regarding this topic is what is more detrimental to a sprint workout? The power loss from a little static streching or a the reduced stride length and tight muscles from that may come from the lack of a little static stretching? Could this be one of those things we might want to leave up to the athlete?..(within reason)

I’ve had teammates and athletes who were completely out of sinc when they weren’t able to do some static stretching. Whether it was psychological, physical or both, the removal of static stretching definitely had a negative impact on their performance.

I’m currently working with a talented female sprinter. Last year ,with a different coach (I was in the backgroud), we discovered that the day after a massage her legs would be pretty flat. I eventually started using PNF stretching (2 reps/passes w/glutes and hip flexors) the days after the massage and there was a noticeable improvement in performance (I could see it and she told so). Now whether the massge sucked or it was simply her response to the massage that effected her performance I can’t say, but the PNF I felt help with muscle tone!?! Crazy…probably. Sometimes you have to be like ‘screw the science, this is what works for me’. What I got from all that was:

(1) What’s good for some many not be good for others…
(2) The problem with PNF may not be the use but when and how it’s applied!?!..a wise man said “less is more”, use as little of any modality as needed.

…my $0.02

If I understand it correctly, PNF stretching does not have an inhibotory effect on muscles, just the opposit.
I will look into this but you might want to check the work of Dr. Hutton (i think).

Wow, thats intersting. can you post or forward that study. This is very interesting.

Im not really sure PNF stretches wll result in less power output. Do you have studies or real world experience with this?
Today there is so many different types of PNF that the original work has been so filterd down that we have to be specific in what we’re really discussing here.