Well-designed warm up Essay Example
Well-designed warm up Essay Example

Well-designed warm up Essay Example

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  • Published: September 7, 2017
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It is crucial to prepare athletes mentally and physically for training and competition, which requires a well-designed warm up. Inactivity stretching has been the preferred method for motion preparation, flexibility training, and injury prevention (Swanson, 2006).

According to Holcomb (2000), inactive stretching is the act of relaxing and elongating a stretched muscle without movement. Shrier & Gossal (2000) have found that inactive stretching is a safe and effective method for increasing flexibility. Young (2007) states that inactive stretching is widely used for warm-up in training and competition. However, recent research by Brandenburg et al. suggests that stretching may have a negative effect on muscle performance.

, 2007) can reduce force production and explosiveness (Fletcher and Jones, 2004). Recent studies have also shown that static stretching may not significantly help with injury prevention (Thacker, Gilchrist, Stroup & Kimsey). As a re

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sult, some experts suggest that focusing on flexibility may not be the most effective way to prepare athletes for training and competition (Swanson, 2006). This could have important implications for rugby players, as power is essential for executing tackles, accelerating explosively, scrummaging, and playing forcefully in rucks and mauls (Duthie, Pyne & Hooper, 2003).

According to Wood (n.d.), the ability to overcome inactivity, make quick dashes, breakaways, and tackle explosively requires explosive power and velocity. A study conducted by Fletcher and Jones (2004) on trained rugby players found that 20-meter sprint performance decreased after an inactive stretching protocol. Favero, Midgley, and Bentley (2009) conducted a study that found no significant difference in 40-meter sprint performance between rest and inactive stretching conditions. Taylor, Sheppard, Lee, and Plummer (2008) discovered in their study that a dynamic warm-up routine is more effective

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than inactive stretching for preparing for powerful performance. However, these differences could be eliminated if followed by a moderate to high intensity sports-specific skill tune-up.

The research concludes that if an inactive stretching routine is performed, it should be followed by a skill tune-up specific to the sport to eliminate any negative effects. Previous studies have examined the effects of inactive stretching compared to not warming up before exercise (Nelson, Guillory, Cornwell & Kokkonen, 2001; McMillan, Moore, Hatler & Taylor, 2006). However, this does not reflect typical warm-up routines in athletics, which usually include a general component performed at a submaximal intensity, inactive stretches, and sports-specific exercises (Young, 2007). Research has also shown that inactive stretching during recovery periods can have a negative impact on repeated sprint ability and change of direction speed compared to passive recovery periods (Beckett, Schneiker, Wallman, Dawson & Guelfi, 2009).

A study conducted by Brandenburg et al. (2007) suggests that in situations where a player comes off the bench, it is crucial to avoid inactive stretching and periods of inactivity before performance. Young (2007) proposes that an ideal research design would involve comparing various warm-up approaches to isolate the impacts of inactive stretching. Holcomb (2000) defines flexibility as the joint's capacity to move freely throughout its complete range of motion.

Zachezewski (1989) emphasized that various factors, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and skeletal structures, influence joint range of motion. Muscle length or flexibility refers to a muscle's ability to elongate and allow for movement within a range of motion (Nelson & Bandy, 2005). According to Zachezewski (1989), reduced flexibility is defined as a decrease in a muscle's ability to deform. Flexibility tends to

decline with age and inactivity (Janot et al., 2007) and plays an important role in athletic performance (Swanson, 2006), injury prevention (Beaulieu, 1981; Weldon & Hill, 2003), and overall health-related fitness throughout life (Swanson, 2006). As a result of these reasons, flexibility has become an essential component of sports conditioning programs and is typically included in warm-up routines. The belief is that a warm-up focused on flexibility prepares athletes for vigorous movements (Swanson, 2006; Holcomb, 2000). However, the lack of clear research on the ideal level of flexibility required for performance and injury prevention makes it challenging to provide recommendations for effective flexibility programs. Studies indicate that extreme levels of flexibility - both excessively high or low - are associated with a higher risk of injury compared to moderate levels of flexibility. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal degree of flexibility necessary (Small et al., 2008; Nelson & Bandy , 2005).(Taimela, Kujala, and Osterman, 1990) conducted a study.

The controversy surrounding the most effective technique for improving range of motion remains. According to Cronin et al. (2008), research has shown that improvements in range of motion can be attributed to a tune-up (Wenos & Konin, 2004). This tune-up increases muscle temperature and blood flow, leading to improved tissue extensibility (Magnusson, Aagaard, Larsson, & Kjaer, 2000a). Inactive stretching has also been found to increase range of motion (Knappstein, Stanley, & Whatman, 2004; Power, Behm, Cahill, Carroll, & Young, 2004) by altering the viscoelastic properties of a musculotendinous unit (Magnusson, Simonsen, Aagaard & Kjaer, 1996b) or by changing the sensitivity of stretch receptors (Krabak, Laskowski, Smith, Stuart, & Wong, 2001). It is possible that a combination

of both inactive stretching and a tune-up may further increase range of motion (de Weijer, Gorniak, & Shamus, 2003).

In a study conducted by Cronin et Al. (2008), it was discovered that stretching immediately before activity did not significantly affect the height of a jump, indicating that it does not hinder performance. Additionally, the authors concluded that pre-event stretching may provide little benefit in improving range of motion due to its short duration of effect.

According to Bishop (2003a), warm-up is widely practiced before almost all athletic events and is generally considered crucial for optimal performance. Warm-up can be either inactive (using external means to raise body temperature) or active (involving physical activity) and can be general or specific depending on the event (Bishop, 2003a; Woods, Bishop, ; Jones, 2007). The goal of warm-up is to enhance muscle dynamics and prepare the athlete for exercise demands (Woods et al.).

According to Faigenbaum, Bellucci, Ernieri, Barker ; Hoorens (2005), the warm-up should be tailored to each individual's needs and abilities. Bishop (2003a) attributes the majority of warm-up effects to physiological mechanisms related to temperature and non-temperature factors. It is believed that an effective warm-up can increase muscle contraction velocity and force by speeding up metabolic processes and reducing internal viscosity. This can result in dissociation of oxygen from hemoglobin, faster nerve transmission, increased blood flow through vasodilation, and protection of muscles by requiring greater stretch length and force to cause injury in warmed muscles (Woods et al., 2007).

According to Woods et al. (2007), research suggests that warm-up is effective in preventing muscle injuries. To optimize the benefits, it is advisable to do a warm-up within 15 minutes before starting

physical activity.

According to Bishop (2003b), incorporating an active warm-up routine is believed to improve performance in short, intermediate, and long runs. The conventional warm-up method typically involves dedicating a significant amount of time to passive stretching with the goal of increasing flexibility (Swanson, 2006). Stretching is thought to provide various physical benefits (Zakas, 2005), such as enhancing flexibility (Borms, Van Roy, Santens & Haentjens, 1987; Smith, 1994), improving performance, reducing injury risk, and aiding in musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation (Worrell, Smith & Winegarder, 1994).

The potential mechanism for reducing the risk of injury through stretching is by decreasing musculoskeletal stiffness, which in turn decreases the likelihood of muscle or tendon rupture during subsequent activity (McNeal & Sands, 2003). Stretching is widely used (Smith, 1994). Different methods of stretching such as ballistic stretching, static stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation have been shown to immediately increase range of motion after stretching (Beaulieu, 1981). The most commonly used method to increase flexibility and range of motion is static stretching due to its ease of execution and low risk of tissue damage (Beaulieu, 1981; Bandy and Irion, 1994). Static stretching involves relaxing and elongating the targeted muscle and can be performed actively or passively. Active stretch occurs when the individual performing the stretch provides force to stretch or elongate the desired muscle to its limit while passive stretch occurs when a partner provides the force needed for stretching (Holcomb, 2000).

Research suggests that inactive stretching can effectively stimulate long-term soft tissue adaptations that improve flexibility (Swanson, 2006). However, there is a lack of literature providing recommendations for optimizing this type of stretching (Zakas, 2006). It is important to understand the effects of

stretching on performance since it is commonly included in warm-up routines (Woolstenhulme, Griffiths, Woolstenhulme & Parcell, 2006). Traditionally, stretching is recommended for athletes to prepare for upcoming movements and increase flexibility or range of motion without pain (Young & Behm, 2002; Shrier, 1999). However, recent studies have extensively examined the effectiveness of stretching for these purposes.

According to Kovacs (2006), previous research indicates that static stretching before practice or competition does not enhance performance or lower the risk of injury. However, having inadequate muscle strength and limited joint range of motion can decrease performance and increase the chances of getting injured. These findings have led some researchers to discourage stretching prior to strength and power activities (Young, Clothier, Otago, Bruce & Liddell, 2004). Although static stretching is a safe physical activity, studies show that a sudden bout of static stretching can negatively affect subsequent strength or power performance in adults (Faigenbaum et al., 2005), potentially for up to an hour after the stretch (McNeal & Sands, 2003). Consistent with this evidence, recent systematic reviews and studies suggest that pre-exercise stretching may impair a muscle's ability to generate maximum force.

The research mentioned in this passage has shown that stretching can lead to a decrease in various types of force production and performance measures. Fowles and Sale (1997) found that a passive stretching program immediately reduced maximum isometric torque in the plantar flexor muscles by about 30%. After 60 minutes, there was still a 9% decrease in isometric torque, but motor unit activation returned to pre-stretching levels within 15 minutes. Similarly, Kokkonen, Nelson, and Cornwell (1998) observed a decrease in maximum isometric torque in both knee flexor and

extensor muscles after an intensive passive stretching program that lasted only a few minutes. However, within 10-15 minutes, maximum isometric torque was recovered.

The study conducted by Cramer, Beck, Housh, Massey, Marek, Danglemeier, Purkayastha, Culbertson, Fitz and Egan (2007) revealed that inactive stretching resulted in a 3.4% decrease in maximum torsion. This finding supports the results found by Nelson et al. (2001). The study also discovered that both slow and fast angular speeds led to decreases in maximum torsion due to stretching. This suggests that the decreases may not be specific to velocity (Cramer et al., 2007).

Another research conducted by Bradley, Olsen, and Portas (2007) demonstrated that vertical jump height decreased after both inactive stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (4.0% and 5.1%, respectively; p < 0.05), with a smaller decrease observed after ballistic stretching (2.7%; p > 0.05). However, jump performance fully recovered within 15 minutes under all stretching conditions.

According to a survey conducted by Brandenburg et al. (2007), it is recommended to avoid inactive stretching and periods of inaction before engaging in activities that involve stretch-shortening rhythm motions, such as a counter motion perpendicular leap. The survey consisted of subjects performing a general tune-up, a pretreatment counter motion perpendicular leap assessment, a treatment with either lower-body inactive stretching or no stretching, and multiple post-treatment counter motion perpendicular leap assessments. Both interventions resulted in decreased performance in the counter motion perpendicular leap. These findings emphasize the need for individuals who have been inactive on the sidelines to develop strategies to overcome the negative effects when entering a game after spending time inactive.

, 2007) . Research has indicated that a decrease in vertical jump performance could be

partly attributed to reductions in the strength and power of intensely stretched muscles. Certain studies have demonstrated decreases in vertical jump height after static stretching (Faigenbaum et al., 2005; Young & Elliot, 2001) and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching (Church, Wiggins, Moode & Crist, 2001), whereas other studies have found no decrease in vertical jump height following static stretching (Church et al., 2001; Unick, Kieffer, Cheesman & Feeney, 2005) and ballistic stretching (Unick et al.

The study conducted by Woolstenhulme et al. (2006) revealed that both inactive and ballistic stretching did not have a decrease in acute vertical leap height, which is consistent with other studies. Fletcher and Jones (2004) investigated the impact of different stretching protocols on the 20-meter dash performance in trained rugby players. They discovered that the performance decreased after the inactive stretching protocol. However, Beaulieu (1981) reported that athletes who incorporated stretching exercises into strength programs improved their speed compared to those who did not perform such exercises. Another study by Favero et al. also examined this topic.

In 2009, a study found that there was no significant difference between the effects of active stretching and inactive stretching on sprinting performance over a 40-meter distance. The use of electromyography and jerk insertion techniques showed that pre-event stretching actually decreased muscle activation. This suggests that the stretching routine may have fatigued certain motor units before the muscle strength endurance task began. When specific motor units are fatigued, there are fewer available for activation, which can result in quicker fatigue and reduced performance. However, stretching can also induce other changes that may have a positive impact on muscle strength endurance.

The findings of a survey conducted

by Yamaguchi and Ishii (2005) indicated that there was no difference in leg extension power after 30 seconds of inactive stretching compared to no stretching. This suggests that stretching a single muscle group for 30 seconds does not improve or decrease muscular performance. Interestingly, the subjects of the study were recreational athletes, and it was observed that those who had higher leg extension power before stretching experienced a greater decrease in power after stretching. For athletes with high potential muscular performance, a 30-second inactive stretch may further reduce their performance (Yamaguchi & Ishii, 2005).

Therefore, it is suggested that athletes should engage in non-static stretching for at least 30 seconds (Yamaguchi, A., & Ishii, 2005). Two main theories have been proposed to explain the decrease in force caused by stretching (Janot et al., 2007): mechanical factors, such as a decrease in the stiffness of the muscle and tendon that may affect the muscle's length-tension relationship and/or the speed of sarcomere shortening (Cornwell, Nelson & Sidaway, 2002; Cramer et al., 2007; Fowles et al.

, 2000;

Kokkonen et al., 1998;

Nelson et al., 2001;

Nelson & A; Kokkonen, 2001);

and nervous factors, such as lessenings in motor nerve cell pool irritability that may diminish peripheral musculus activation (Behm, Button & A; Butt, 2001;

Cramer et al., 2007;

Fowles et al., 2000;

Power et al.

, 2004). Additionally, it has been suggested that stretching-induced decreases in force production can be attributed to nervous factors such as reduced activation of motor units, decreased firing frequency, and altered automatic sensitivity (Behm et al., 2001; Cramer et al., 2007; Fowles et al., 2000; Power et al.).

Previous research has shown that stretching can lead to a decrease in muscle activation

as measured through surface electromyography (Behm et al., 2001; Cramer et al., 2007; Cramer, Housh, Johnson, Miller, Coburn & Beck, 2005; Fowles et al., 2004).

Research conducted by Power et al. (2000, 2004) and Behm et al. (2001) have explored the effectiveness of stretching exercises and jerk insertion techniques (Fowles et al., 2000).

According to studies conducted by Fowles et al. (2000) and Behm et al. (2001), stretching can have a negative impact on force production in muscles. Fowles et al. found that 60% of the decrease in force production in the triceps surae muscle, lasting for up to 15 minutes after stretching, was due to nervous factors. Behm et al. suggested that the decrease in maximum force production in the leg extensors after stretching was partly caused by a decrease in muscle activation.

In addition, according to Cramer et al. (2007), stretching can lead to decreases in both maximum torque and surface electromyography amplitude in the leg extensor muscles, whether they are stretched or not. They proposed that these decreases in force production and muscle activation may be partly due to an unknown inhibitory mechanism in the central nervous system. Similarly, Nelson et al. (2001) suggested that increased muscle compliance resulting from stretching could mean that the muscle goes through a longer period of unloaded shortening before generating force to transfer to the bone. This could result in cross-bridges being at a less optimal length sooner during the full range of motion. On the other hand, Stewart, Adams, Alonso, Van Koesveld, and Campbell (2007) argue that while stretching may hinder certain aspects of performance, it may simultaneously improve others. Therefore, the overall effect of stretching is

likely minimal.

Illustrative studies conducted by Magnusson, Aagaard and Nielson (2000b) as well as Magnusson, Simonsen & Aagaard (1996a) have demonstrated that stretching can improve muscle and tendon flexibility and range of motion, thus enhancing pace length. However, Wilson, Elliot and Wood (1991) have shown that increased muscle and tendon compliance may also decrease the efficiency of the stretch-shortening cycle and, consequently, reduce sprinting economy (Stewart et al., 2007). In their research, Stewart et al. (2007) compared the performance of a warm-up only group with a combined warm-up and stretching group, finding lower performances in the latter group. This suggests that stretching may diminish the benefits achieved through warming up before exercise.

The effectiveness of stretching for improving performance and preventing injuries has been questioned (Nelson et al., 2005). A review by Small, Naughton, and Matthews (2008) found evidence suggesting that inactive stretching may help prevent musculotendinous and ligament sprain injuries, and possibly other types of injuries. This could be due to the improvement in flexibility of ligaments and musculotendinous units through connective tissue elongation, which promotes muscle relaxation and allows for greater range of motion (ROM) around a joint. Increasing ROM is believed to reduce the risk of injury (Smith, 1994). However, it is important to note that correlation does not imply causation (Small et al.).

, 2008). Witvrouw, Mahieu, Danneels and McNair (2004) found conflicting information regarding the relationship between flexibility and athletic injury. Misconceptions and conflicting research studies cloud stretching recommendations (Witvrouw et al., 2004). The authors suggest that part of this contradiction can be explained by considering the type of sports activity an individual participates in. For example, sports involving explosive skills and stretch-shortening

cycle motions require a muscle-tendon unit that is compliant enough to store and release high amounts of elastic energy (Witvrouw et al., 2004).

When a person's muscle-tendon unit lacks flexibility in sports activities, it increases the risk of exercise-related injuries because the tendon cannot absorb enough energy. This can lead to damage in the tendon and muscles (Witvrouw et al., 2004). In sports activities that do not involve any or only low stretch-shortening cycle motions, most or all of the effort is directly converted into external work (Witvrouw et al., 2004).

In these cases, the need for a compliant sinew is not necessary as the amount of energy absorbed is low (Witvrouw et al., 2004). Therefore, additional stretching exercises to improve the compliance of the sinew may not have a beneficial impact on injury prevention (Witvrouw et al., 2004).

According to Small et al. ( 2008 ), studies that found no decrease in overall injury rates may be explained by the fact that some injuries are inevitable. However, despite this growing body of evidence, sports scientists and sports medicine practitioners are still reluctant to recommend excluding pre-activity stretching ( Brandenburg et al., 2007 ). One reason for this could be the variety of study protocols published involving different types and intensity of stretches, as well as the duration for which a stretched muscle, or group of muscles, impairs performance ( Brandenburg et al. ).

, 2007). The context of an athletic warm up should be reflected in the research design (Young, 2007). Therefore, individuals should undergo a secondary or athletics specific warm up after the stretching stage, and the effects should be compared to tune-ups without stretching (Young, 2007).

Several studies have implemented this research design, but they have shown conflicting results (Little & Williams, 2006; Unick et al., [Year]).

, 2005; Woolstenhulme et al., 2006; Young et al., 2004). However, two more recent studies have attempted to address this issue (Little; A; Williams, 2006; Young et al., 2004) by comparing warm-up design with and without the addition of inactive stretching on a variety of motor performances. Both studies reported minimal differences in performances whether inactive stretching was included or not included in the warm-up.

According to Young (2007), both studies utilized a moderate amount of inactive stretching. Little and Williams (2006) incorporated one set of 30-second stretching for four lower limb muscle groups, while Young et al. (2004) performed 3 sets of 30-second stretches on three muscle groups. The limited number of stretches may not have had a significant effect or any acute effects due to their dilution by other warm-up components (Young, 2007). Pearce et al. (2009) conducted a study that confirmed a significant decrease in heart rate responses during inactive stretching, indicating a decrease in physical activity. This decrease was then followed by a subsequent decrease in vertical leap height.

Both Faigenbaum et al. (2005) and Pearce et al. (2009) have reported similar results showing a decrease in heart rate after performing passive stretching exercises. Including a phase of low-intensity passive stretching in the workout effectively cancels out the physiological activity increase caused by the previous general warm-up stage.

According to Kovacs (2006), it is recommended that pre-event stretching should be avoided, but inactive stretching routines can be prescribed for some athletes, possibly after activity. However, it is not advisable to engage in stretching

before athletic practice sessions and competitive events. A study by Cornelius, Hagemann, and Jackson (1988) found that performing stretching activities at the end of exercises or after practice sessions leads to improvements in range of motion comparable to those achieved at other times. Power is defined as the amount of work produced per unit of time or the product of force and speed (Cronin & Slievert, 2005). Maximal anaerobic power refers to a muscle's ability to generate high force while performing at a high velocity (Harman et al., 2000). Beckenholdt and Mayhew (1983) define explosive power as the power generated through quick and forceful movements from a stationary position or during a short run.

According to Newton and Kraemer (1994), explosive muscle actions are necessary in activities such as throwing, jumping, and dramatic activities, as well as for quick bursts of power and when rapidly changing direction or accelerating. Explosive power is the main factor determining performance in both individual and team sports, especially in activities that require a single sequence of motion to generate high speed at release or impact (Newton & Kraemer, 1994). Rugby is a sport characterized by intermittent high-intensity activity (Deutsch et al., 1998). It involves alternating periods of maximum strength and power (e.g. scrummaging and sprinting) with periods of lower-intensity aerobic activity and rest (Nicholas, 1997).

Participants in a study performed an average of 560 single motions during an 80-minute match (Deutsch et al., 1998). It has been suggested by researchers that the ability to generate high power output is crucial for forwards during scrummaging and mauling (Cheetham, Hazeldine, Robinson, & Williams, 1988). Deutsch, Kearney, and Rehrer (2007) discovered that while the

total time spent on tackling is relatively short, this activity is potentially the most comprehensive and strenuous in rugby.

In rugby, there is a significant emphasis on horizontal components like rucking, mauling, scrummaging, and undertaking. Therefore, developing power should be a major focus for proving and conditioning, especially for forwards (Deutsch et al., 2007). The variability of the results (Deutsch et al., 2007) may be due to the intense nature of international and regional matches (Morton, 1978). According to Williams (1976), international players are required to sprint much more than players in local competitions. Duthie et al. state that...

(2003) Velocity and acceleration are important requirements for rugby, as players are often required to accelerate to make a nearby position. Average dash distances of 14.5 to 23.6 meters for back row forwards and outside dorsums respectively have been reported (Deutsch, Maw, Jenkins & Reaburn, 1998). In a study conducted by Fletcher and Jones (2004), it was found that static stretching decreased 20-meter dash performance. Results from a study conducted by Deutsch et al.

, (1998) proposed that forwards have a higher overall strength compared to dorsums. Dorsums, on the other hand, tend to work at high strengths for short periods and have extended periods of rest. According to Deutsch et al. (1998), engaging in prolonged high-intensity work requires significant anaerobic energy production. A study conducted by Smith, Clarke, Hale, and McNorris (1991) suggests that the elevated heart rate observed in forwards may be attributed to increased levels of catecholamines. However, it is more likely that the continuous activity involved in forwards' play, combined with repeated bouts of static isometric work, significantly raises their heart rate throughout the match

due to the physical nature of tackling and rucking/mauling (Deutsch et al.).

According to Deutsch et al. (1998), the bosom rate results indicate a greater involvement of the anaerobic energy systems for forwards. Deutsch et al. (1998) also discovered that props, locks, and back row forwards had an average of 72 and 78 instances of puckering or mauling, while the interior and outside dorsums only had 12 and 8 herds or sledges on average throughout a match. It was shown that forwards spent an average of 13.9% of total match time in intense inactive activity, such as rucking, mauling, and

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