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Daycrawler
09-29-2008, 08:52 AM
My pro told me that static stretching is bad because it limits your explosiveness while playing. Any truth? He said I should never stretch before a match or before practice but immediately after to prevent injury.

SystemicAnomaly
09-29-2008, 01:55 PM
Static stretching has been show to diminish power/performance for 30 to 60+ minutes. Best to do your static stretches 1 hour before and then again soon after tennis. There have been a number of posts on this subject in this forum.

Rickson
09-30-2008, 09:19 AM
You can static stretch after a match, but you need not do it before. Dynamic stretching is recommended these days. BTW, static stretching does not prevent injuries, but it is a good thing to do in order to increase your range of motion.

Japanese Maple
09-30-2008, 09:46 AM
You can static stretch after a match, but you need not do it before. Dynamic stretching is recommended these days. BTW, static stretching does not prevent injuries, but it is a good thing to do in order to increase your range of motion.
Rickson, from my experience having played numerous sports, static stretching most definitely aids me in preventing injuries. Any stretching that improves range of motion will also help in preventing injuries. Before tennis, I like to do both static and dynamic stretches, and static after playing.

albino smurf
09-30-2008, 11:06 AM
Static and dynamic prior to and both after as well. Bino is old and needs all the loosening up he can get.

Rickson
09-30-2008, 11:20 AM
JM, static stretching can indirectly help you prevent injuries by increasing your range of motion, but it's still not recommended before a match or any explosive movements such as sprinting a hundred meters. Warming up is absolutely recommended as it increases blood flow to the muscles, but some people don't realize that static stretching and warming up are not the same thing. Static stretching lengthens the muscles which is not ideal before explosive activity. Stretching after a workout or a tennis match is recommended because your muscles are already warm and you can lengthen those muscles which have been shortened and tightened during the anaerobic phase of your workout. Warm up before a match by getting the blood flowing, but save the stretching for after the match.

Japanese Maple
09-30-2008, 12:17 PM
Rickson, of course one needs to always warm up their core temperature before doing any kind of stretching, particularly before playing. Lengthening my muscles is exactly one of the reason why I stretch before playing and find doing a combination static/dynamic routine is best for me. Even stretching after playing, my hamstrings are still somewhat tight before playing again and need to be stretched out for me to move at my best. Watching pro football players at camp and before games, after a good warm up like jogging, they will do both static and dynamic stretches. The key is definitely warm your body up with jogging, rope jumping, jumping jacks, shadow strokes, stationary bike ect. and then do some type of stretching.

SystemicAnomaly
09-30-2008, 11:10 PM
Rickson, from my experience having played numerous sports, static stretching most definitely aids me in preventing injuries. Any stretching that improves range of motion will also help in preventing injuries. Before tennis, I like to do both static and dynamic stretches, and static after playing.

I have also played several sports competitively (tournament). I am now in my late 50s and currently suffer from knee and shoulder issues. I have not found any injury or soreness prevention benefits from performing static stretches just prior to exercise or competition.

Numerous studies since the 1980s have shown that static stretching prior to exercise does not reduces injuries. On the other hand, I am not sure if any studies show an increase in injuries due to static stretching. However, there is anecdotal evidence from some professional & university teams that indicate that some static stretches in some sports appears to increase the likelihood of injury.

If you really believe that pre-game static stretching reduces soreness or injuries and you can live with diminished athletic performance for 30-60 minutes, then go ahead and do those stretches. However, based on studies in the past couple of decades, I would strongly advise doing those static stretches one hour before competition (or some light static stretching 30+ minutes prior to competition).

Japanese Maple
10-01-2008, 06:18 AM
The most important thing for tennis players is to do some type of stretching before playing after warming up their bodies. Both static and dynamic stretches can be of benefit before playing tennis and it is definitely better to do some type of stretching (static or dynamic, or both) before playing. Although I do both stretches before playing, I would definitely prefer after warming up to do static stretches than no stretches at all. I also, for the average tennis player, believe you will not see a significant drop off in athletic performance after doing just static stretches before playing-any stretching after warming your body up is better than no stretching at all for movement and injury prevention!

SystemicAnomaly, for the record I never said that pre match static stretches prevents soreness, and I do both dynamic and static stretches before playing just like all your professional and college sports teams! Do you really honestly believe that as a tennis player you will significantly ****** your athletic performance for 30-90 minutes after doing static stretches-come on! You might want to talk to Pat Etcheberry about the follies of static stretching before playing tennis because when I was at a camp he was running, along with Groppel and Loehr, he had us do both static and dynamic stretches after jogging around the courts several times.

SystemicAnomaly
10-02-2008, 03:15 AM
... Do you really honestly believe that as a tennis player you will significantly ****** your athletic performance for 30-90 minutes after doing static stretches-come on! ...

Yes, this is what the research has shown. Groppel himself acknowledges these studies. How much power/performance reduction results from static stretching and how long it takes to recover from this reduction will depend on how much & how intense the static stretching session is. Light or short-duration stretching might require less than 30 minutes of recovery. Prolonged static stretching can take longer than 60 minutes according to the research.


... You might want to talk to Pat Etcheberry about the follies of static stretching before playing tennis because when I was at a camp he was running, along with Groppel and Loehr, he had us do both static and dynamic stretches after jogging around the courts several times.

Three (temporal) questions. How long ago did this camp experience happen? How much time elapsed between the execution of the static stretches and the actual tennis? What was the duration of the static stretching -- duration (in seconds) of each stretch & duration of the whole static stretching session (in minutes)?

In the past 5 to 10+ years, exercise experts have been revising and refining their philosophies on stretching (static, dynamic & other variations) based on studies conducted in the past couple of decades. In the their book, World-Class Tennis Technique, Paul Roetert & Jack Groppel delve into types of flexibility training (on page 68 ).

On page (http://books.google.com/books?id=dd0OcvZtgEEC&pg=PT79&lpg=PT79&dq=%28Groppel+OR+Loehr%29+static+stretch&source=web&ots=DoWsDWqLjv&sig=1wrHTX3TMDu7vF-tGJdmnnwfeSY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPT79,M1) 70 (http://books.google.com/books?id=dd0OcvZtgEEC&pg=PT79&lpg=PT79&dq=%28Groppel+OR+Loehr%29+static+stretch&source=web&ots=DoWsDWqLjv&sig=1wrHTX3TMDu7vF-tGJdmnnwfeSY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPT79,M1), they recommend performing moderate static stretching before the dynamic phase of the warmup. They also recommend static stretching for post-tennis cool down. On the same page, they acknowledge the studies that I have previously mentioned:

"Recent research has questioned the use of static stretching immediately before maximal performance...

This program stresses an on-court warm-up sequence before stretching and emphasizes dynamic stretching immediately before tennis play."

In light of these findings, they suggest that static stretching be performed at least 20 to 30 minutes before playing tennis.

USTA Player Development also stresses a dynamic warmup prior to tennis. I have provided links to their dynamic warmup web page and their philosophy on static stretching in other threads. They do not include static stretches immediately prior to playing or training.

A USTA Sport Science Committee White Paper on Tennis Technique and Injury Prevention (http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/usta/doc/content/doc_437_550.pdf) discusses much of this. This document lists the Groppel/Roetert book as a reference. Following is an excerpt from that White (http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/usta/doc/content/doc_437_550.pdf) Paper (http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/usta/doc/content/doc_437_550.pdf):

"Static stretching ... has been shown to decrease muscle strength, maximum muscle activation, and quickness of muscle activation for more than 60 minutes after the stretching ends. Also, classic stretching by itself prior to vigorous activity has been shown to have no effect on muscle or tendon injury protection."

.

Japanese Maple
10-02-2008, 07:14 AM
The most important aspect of stretching is to do it consistently, and properly. Most recreational tennis players don't stretch or if they do they don't do it properly-meaning they first don't warm up their core temperature with light cardio then stretch-they often do static stretches of a cold muscle/tendons right before they play which is worse than doing no stretches. For me, I have to stretch before I play or my movement really suffers and I definitely know that pre match stretches helps prevent injuries regardless what the so called research says.

Do what the pros do before vigorous activity, warm up your body with light cardio for 5-8 minutes, and then do a combination of static and dynamic stretches ideally 20-30 minutes before playing. After playing spend 8-10 minutes or more doing static stretches. Supplement your stretching with weekly whirlpool sessions and deep tissue massages if money is no object. Also, if you have the time and want the best recovery during tournament time, after a grueling match, get some protein/carb fuel in your body immediately ( 10-20 min), and do light cardio like a stationary bike or jogging for 10-15 minutes, then do static stretches.

If you are having a weekly tennis hit with a friend and can't warm up or stretch before playing, then do light hitting for 5-10 minutes at the service line to warm up and then take a few minutes to stretch, concentrating on the legs, and shoulders. When you do start to rally from the baseline, don't make any aggressive moves for wide balls, ease into your warm up while stretching in between points when you can. After you play, take a few minutes to do a few static stretches, concentrating on your tight areas.

Bottom line is stretching will help you play better and keep you playing by preventing injuries, but the key is to do it properly with a light cardio warm up first and be consistent. The more you stretch, the looser and more flexible you become when you do it every day.

Rickson
10-02-2008, 09:28 AM
Do not static stretch before a match. Static stretching should be done after all plyometric movements have ended or in other words, after the match. The body should be warm before static stretching because cold muscles can lead to muscle strains.

fuzz nation
10-02-2008, 09:30 AM
In my independent research, which basically means "after having wailed on myself for a few decades and reading a few things along the way", I've found that I am much better off with a good warm-up before I play, more along the lines of dynamic stretching. Static stretching is invaluable after I play to give me better recovery and I'll also do a little if I'm in the middle of a longer outing. This may include my lower back, calves, quads, etc.

While I wouldn't say that static stretching before tennis while you're still "cold" is fundamentally evil or anything, I don't think that it's all too helpful for getting yourself ready to go full speed on the courts.

coachdavidh
10-02-2008, 10:13 AM
Several studies through the NSCA have concluded that static stretching prior to activity can limit explosiveness and force production. This will typically effect recreationally-trained and untrained populations the most. Elite athletes have been able to stretch prior to explosive activity and not experience the same problems (as seen with Charlie Francis stretching world class sprinters). But as far as my recommendations go, unless you are an Olympian or professional athlete, it is probably better to go with a dynamic warm up instead.

Here are some examples:

Dynamic Warm Ups for Tennis (http://www.xlathlete.com/browse_drills.jsp?sport_program_id=227&browse_sport_id=38&drill_type=0)

SystemicAnomaly
10-03-2008, 04:23 AM
... regardless what the so called research says...

This is not just one or 2 light-weight research studies.
The evidence for the past 2 decades seems fairly compelling.

.

SystemicAnomaly
10-03-2008, 04:41 AM
...

Do what the pros do before vigorous activity, warm up your body with light cardio for 5-8 minutes, and then do a combination of static and dynamic stretches ideally 20-30 minutes before playing. After playing spend 8-10 minutes or more doing static stretches.

...

I am still very interested in details of the Etcheberry camp experience (see the 3 questions I asked in my post yesterday). Was this camp before or after the Groppel/Roetert book? I am interested to find out if Groppel has revised or refined his philosophy on warmups.

The book recommends a light warmup of 5 to 10 minutes. This is followed by moderate static stretching (but it doesn't say how long this phase lasts). This is then followed by the dynamic phase of the stretching warmup -- progressively increasing the range & the velocity of the movements.

They do not speak of doing a mix or a combination of static & dynamic stretching. The static phase definitely precedes the dynamic phase. They further recommend that the static phase finishes up at least 20-30 minutes prior to play. The dynamic phase is performed just prior to play (or drills).

Did they deviate from this timing & sequence in the Etcheberry camp?

Japanese Maple
10-03-2008, 04:50 AM
This is not just one or 2 light-weight research studies.
The evidence for the past 2 decades seems fairly compelling.

.
Stretching before playing tennis after warming your body up most definitely helps prevent injuries. I have been doing my own research for over 30 years! After doing light cardio, stretching of any kind is better than no stretching at all to aid movement, increase range of motion, and prevent injuries.

Gmedlo
10-04-2008, 10:13 AM
Stretching before playing tennis after warming your body up most definitely helps prevent injuries. I have been doing my own research for over 30 years! After doing light cardio, stretching of any kind is better than no stretching at all to aid movement, increase range of motion, and prevent injuries.

what non-anecdotal evidence do you have?

Rickson
10-04-2008, 10:26 AM
He only has his personal beliefs.

SystemicAnomaly
10-04-2008, 06:20 PM
... I have been doing my own research for over 30 years! ...

Still hoping to hear more details about the warmup routine in your Etcheberry camp experience. Do your recall those details? How long ago was this? Also, did you get an opportunity to use the ETCH-Swing (http://etcheberryexperience.com/en/info/the_etch_swing)? Any thoughts on that?

Rickson
10-04-2008, 08:53 PM
Some people believe they do better at certain sports when they've performed some superstitious ritual. This is purely psychological, but try telling them that. Maple has come to believe that static stretching before a match helps him prevent injuries, but there is no scientific evidence to back up his claims. The truth is that warming up, not stretching, is beneficial before a match. Stretching has been shown to have no benefit and sometimes negative effects before a match. Stretching after the match is recommended because there is no more need for quick, concentric contractions so if you're gonna stretch, do it when the competition comes to an end. As the expression goes, save it for later.

phucng_10
10-04-2008, 10:59 PM
I think it's somewhat bad, but it's nice to have a little stretch to wake up your muscles. My PE teacher tells us to run and then stretch because it's better that way when your muscles are warmed up.

Japanese Maple
10-05-2008, 08:23 AM
Some people believe they do better at certain sports when they've performed some superstitious ritual. This is purely psychological, but try telling them that. Maple has come to believe that static stretching before a match helps him prevent injuries, but there is no scientific evidence to back up his claims. The truth is that warming up, not stretching, is beneficial before a match. Stretching has been shown to have no benefit and sometimes negative effects before a match. Stretching after the match is recommended because there is no more need for quick, concentric contractions so if you're gonna stretch, do it when the competition comes to an end. As the expression goes, save it for later.
Rickson and SystemAnomaly-What I blieve in and what works is also what most professional and college sports teams use and that is a combination of static and dynamic stretching following a dynamic warm up like jogging, shuttle steps, carioke, rope jumping, stationary bicycle, ect. to prepare oneself for competition and prevent injuries. Anytime you warm up and stretch out muscles, tendons, and ligaments, you enhance range of motion and reduce the chances of a muscle pull/strain-this is undisputable fact! To do this it is best done with doing both static and dynamic stretching. Perhaps at age 49, this is the reason I can play tennis 5-7 days /wk, lift weights 4/wk., cardio 4-5/wk and do speed/plyometric workouts 2-3/wk without any physical ailments or limiting conditions! I do what the pros do and things have worked out just fine!

Rickson
10-05-2008, 08:40 AM
It's all in your head, buddy.

princemidplus
10-05-2008, 11:08 AM
i must agree with rickson and systemicanomaly here.as a physiotherapist, i only recommend a good warmup and dynamic stretches prior to any exercise requiring fast quick explosive movements or power. This is because static stretches reduce the amount of power and speed a muscle can produce for up to about 60min after doing them. research backs this up as systemic has shown already

for a simple example: if you stretch an elastic band to the point it actually lengthens (as opposed to just stretches) you damage the rubber and it is less able to contact and thus looses power. Unlike a muscle, the elastic cannot repair itself and is thus permanently weakened. Muscles take about an hour to recover from the static stretches and return to prior performance. Thus you will be working a weakened muscle harder and potentially could do yourself an injury.

princemidplus
10-05-2008, 11:13 AM
BTW, systemic, are you involved in the medical profession by any chance?

Japanese Maple
10-05-2008, 01:27 PM
i must agree with rickson and systemicanomaly here.as a physiotherapist, i only recommend a good warmup and dynamic stretches prior to any exercise requiring fast quick explosive movements or power. This is because static stretches reduce the amount of power and speed a muscle can produce for up to about 60min after doing them. research backs this up as systemic has shown already

for a simple example: if you stretch an elastic band to the point it actually lengthens (as opposed to just stretches) you damage the rubber and it is less able to contact and thus looses power. Unlike a muscle, the elastic cannot repair itself and is thus permanently weakened. Muscles take about an hour to recover from the static stretches and return to prior performance. Thus you will be working a weakened muscle harder and potentially could do yourself an injury.

pricemidplus-dynamic stretches are great,but I also believe static stretches have there place too before competition, particularly for hamstrings, calves/achilles, and shoulders. That's why I do both and get great results with no injuries. When I watched the Pittsburgh Steelers perform warmup during training camp, after various light cardio drills, they performed both static and dynamic stretches. I will definitely take the lead of professional athletes and my own successful results. Keep in mind, that I complete my stretches at least 30 minutes prior to playing tennis, but the few times I don't I can guarantee you that I don't see a discernible drop off in my explosiveness and quickness-it just doesn't happen! After a good cardio warm-up you can definitely do both dynamic and static stretches ideally at least 30 minutes prior to playing tennis and get great results regardless of the so called research!

Rickson
10-05-2008, 06:47 PM
Honestly, from your posts, it really looks like it's all in your head. People can be conditioned to believe anything, but studies have shown that static stretching before an athletic event does not help at all.

sn1974
10-05-2008, 11:38 PM
long, static stretches and yoga prevent injuries because they improve overall flexibility in the long term. no one says being flexible causes injury or reduces performance, but stretching *right* before you play?

i don't think it really does anything and it looks like it may do some harm. how can a few minutes of stretching actually improve your flexibility on the day you do the stretches? i know from yoga that sometimes my muscles are sore and fatigued right afterward. i think my body is busy rebuilding muscle fiber, so i can't imagine my tennis performance (or running or whatever) would be improved if i decided to play a few minutes after yoga.

i'm not an expert but i think it's better to divorce stretching and warming up/playing from each other in the same way you'd divorce running or weight work from playing.

SystemicAnomaly
10-06-2008, 02:05 AM
long, static stretches and yoga prevent injuries because they improve overall flexibility in the long term... i know from yoga that sometimes my muscles are sore and fatigued right afterward. i think my body is busy rebuilding muscle fiber, so i can't imagine my tennis performance (or running or whatever) would be improved if i decided to play a few minutes after yoga...

I have had several people who practice yoga regularly tell me that they do not perform well playing tennis, badminton, or volleyball immediately after yoga. They have said that it can take an hour or two or even more after yoga before they can perform well in any sports.


BTW, systemic, are you involved in the medical profession by any chance?

I am not. Do have a lot of life experience tho' -- have been around for more than a half century & have dealt with quite a few injuries and health conditions. I have also been playing various sports for nearly 50 yrs.

I tend to do a lot of my own personal research on a lot of this stuff. I make it a point of looking for theories, opinions, or research that conflicts with what I have read or learned previously in order to get a more balanced perspective. I will then do more research & reading in an effort to resolve these conflicts.

.

princemidplus
10-06-2008, 05:45 AM
I am not. Do have a lot of life experience tho' -- have been around for more than a half century & have dealt with quite a few injuries and health conditions. I have also been playing various sports for nearly 50 yrs.

I tend to do a lot of my own personal research on a lot of this stuff. I make it a point of looking for theories, opinions, or research that conflicts with what I have read or learned previously in oder to get a more balanced perspective. I will then do more research & reading in an effort to resolve these conflicts

I wish more people would actually do this. You have a great deal of insight into the injury replies you give and frankly I am impressed since you are not medically trained as such. The amount of people I treat that have no idea of what could possibly be wrong with them after injury is astounding. I accept that some people may have odd injuries that do not fit textbook cases but a large amount of people suffer from injuries that are easy to research (if you look at proper sites) and learn how to manage yourself.

auzzieizm
10-06-2008, 06:05 AM
i must agree with rickson and systemicanomaly here.as a physiotherapist, i only recommend a good warmup and dynamic stretches prior to any exercise requiring fast quick explosive movements or power. This is because static stretches reduce the amount of power and speed a muscle can produce for up to about 60min after doing them. research backs this up as systemic has shown already

for a simple example: if you stretch an elastic band to the point it actually lengthens (as opposed to just stretches) you damage the rubber and it is less able to contact and thus looses power. Unlike a muscle, the elastic cannot repair itself and is thus permanently weakened. Muscles take about an hour to recover from the static stretches and return to prior performance. Thus you will be working a weakened muscle harder and potentially could do yourself an injury.


I have never seen or heard of anyone doing dynamic stretching in a physical (physio)therapy clinic. Dynamic stretching is much more conducive to injury for most populations. For the last two years, at my clinic, I have not seen dynamic stretching conducted at all. I also never saw it conducted when going through therapy myself. Additionally, when I was in school, my professors promoted much more static stretching programs for exercise populations rather than dynamic stretching programs. The gains of dynamic stretching do not outweigh the risks, and flexibility gains for static stretching are on par with dynamic stretching- if not increased over dynamic stretching.

Rickson
10-06-2008, 08:45 AM
I didn't see prince write anything about dynamic stretching prior to physical therapy. Prince clearly stated that he recommends dynamic stretching before exercises that require explosive movements. It looks like you misread his entire post.

princemidplus
10-06-2008, 11:03 AM
if you are looking purely for an increase in flexibility then static stretches are definitely the way to go. We use them all the time is physiotherapy clinics to increase range of motion in injured muscles and stiff joint and after operations etc. this is all to increase flexibility.

to warm up before explosive exercise, static stretches are not recommended. if you do not like dynamic stretches simply go for a run, swing your arms and legs around a bit and have a good slow start to your games (pretty much just slower dynamic stuff really).

You can still do your static stretches at home if you are stiff or tight. just not recommended right before a game of tennis,squash, rugby,football, etc. If you want to see it for yourself you should try get a look in at the Olympics Games warm ups - especially the sprinters!

Hope this clears it up a bit :)

Japanese Maple
10-06-2008, 11:57 AM
if you are looking purely for an increase in flexibility then static stretches are definitely the way to go. We use them all the time is physiotherapy clinics to increase range of motion in injured muscles and stiff joint and after operations etc. this is all to increase flexibility.

to warm up before explosive exercise, static stretches are not recommended. if you do not like dynamic stretches simply go for a run, swing your arms and legs around a bit and have a good slow start to your games (pretty much just slower dynamic stuff really).

You can still do your static stretches at home if you are stiff or tight. just not recommended right before a game of tennis,squash, rugby,football, etc. If you want to see it for yourself you should try get a look in at the Olympics Games warm ups - especially the sprinters!

Hope this clears it up a bit :)

princemidplus-I don't think looking at how Olympic sprinters warm up is a good model for tennis players. I would look at what pro basketball, football, and tennis players do before competition and after a dynamic warm up they definitely do both dynamic and static stretches.

SystemicAnomaly
10-06-2008, 12:06 PM
... Dynamic stretching is much more conducive to injury for most populations... Additionally, when I was in school, my professors promoted much more static stretching programs for exercise populations rather than dynamic stretching programs. The gains of dynamic stretching do not outweigh the risks, and flexibility gains for static stretching are on par with dynamic stretching- if not increased over dynamic stretching.

When were you is school?

What risks are you referring to with dynamic stretching? We are not talking about ballistic stretching here. Ballistic stretching can be very risky for sure and should be avoided by most people (unless you really know what you are doing).

If a dynamic or static/passive stretch is taken beyond the normal range of motion, especially if the muscles are "bounced", the stretch becomes ballistic. Some sources use the terms ballistic and dynamic interchangeably. This should be avoided.

princemidplus
10-06-2008, 11:19 PM
princemidplus-I don't think looking at how Olympic sprinters warm up is a good model for tennis players. I would look at what pro basketball, football, and tennis players do before competition and after a dynamic warm up they definitely do both dynamic and static stretches.

i agree taht tennis players should not follow a sprinters warm up. what i am pointing to is the way they warm up - not the exact warm up/stretches they use. common sense tells you that to warm up for sprinting before playing tennis is not going to be ideal as sprinters need an intense muscle use for about 10sec where as tennis players need muscle use a fair bit longer. just trying to show that top athletes in more ballistic/explosive sports are not doing static stretches just before they are competing.

Also don't go out and copy Nadal's warm up as that may be a little intense for most people. similar exercises maybe but keep the level of the exercise to your personal ability.