Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Health & Fitness (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=18)
-   -   Stretching: the truth of the matter. (with poll!) (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=480219)

TimeSpiral 10-16-2013 12:20 PM

Stretching: the truth of the matter. (with poll!)
 
We've all seen it, and we've all done it: the stretch routine before a match. But are you doing more harm than good?

Old ways die hard, some say, and it would appear that stretching is one of them. A once universally held belief; that static stretching is best done prior to your workout, to ready your muscles and prevent injury; is still widely practiced among amateur athletes all around the world. But science has moved on.
Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent.

Source ...
The article goes on to suggest best practices specifically for tennis players warming up for a match, and how static stretches is a definite no-no. Not only does it weaken your muscles by up to 30%, but it does not help to prevent injury.

Static Stretching
When you stretch your muscle into a pose, then hold it. Imagine standing straight-leg, bending to touch your toes, holding it, then bending a little more, holding it, and so on. This is a static stretch.

Dynamic Stretching

When you stretch your muscles with actions, but do not hold any specific poses. Imagine holding out your hand, palm down, and trying to kick it. This is a dynamic stretch.

Aerobic Warm-Up
Studies show that an aerobic warm-up is best performed prior to your dynamic stretching and workout. Aerobic essentially means a continuous elevated heart rate for a period of time. A five to ten minute warm-up is sufficient, with a 40% increase of your heart rate initially (very easy pace) to a 60% increase toward the end. Too much aerobic warm-up tires you out and provides no additional benefit.
A well-designed warm-up starts by increasing body heat and blood flow. Warm muscles and dilated blood vessels pull oxygen from the bloodstream more efficiently and use stored muscle fuel more effectively.

[...]

To raise the body’s temperature, a warm-up must begin with aerobic activity, usually light jogging. Most coaches and athletes have known this for years. That’s why tennis players run around the court four or five times before a match and marathoners stride in front of the starting line. But many athletes do this portion of their warm-up too intensely or too early. A 2002 study of collegiate volleyball players found that those who’d warmed up and then sat on the bench for 30 minutes had lower backs that were stiffer than they had been before the warm-up. And a number of recent studies have demonstrated that an overly vigorous aerobic warm-up simply makes you tired. Most experts advise starting your warm-up jog at about 40 percent of your maximum heart rate (a very easy pace) and progressing to about 60 percent. The aerobic warm-up should take only 5 to 10 minutes, with a 5-minute recovery. (Sprinters require longer warm-ups, because the loads exerted on their muscles are so extreme.) Then it’s time for the most important and unorthodox part of a proper warm-up regimen, the Spider-Man and its counterparts.

Source ...
Just spreading the wisdom, TT.

Play well!

Topspin Shot 10-16-2013 01:20 PM

Before the actual hitting warmup, aerobic exercises followed by dynamic stretching is your best bet. Static stretching is best for after the match, to reduce soreness and improve flexibility. The exception is if you have another match coming up that day; if so, I wouldn't engage in any static stretching until the second match is over.

TimeSpiral 10-16-2013 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Topspin Shot (Post 7824740)
Before the actual hitting warmup, aerobic exercises followed by dynamic stretching is your best bet. Static stretching is best for after the match, to reduce soreness and improve flexibility. The exception is if you have another match coming up that day; if so, I wouldn't engage in any static stretching until the second match is over.

So you agree with exactly what I just wrote? Lol. Just playin' with ya.

Topspin Shot 10-16-2013 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeSpiral (Post 7824779)
So you agree with exactly what I just wrote? Lol. Just playin' with ya.

Basically, but I have to sound more intelligent than just agreeing with you. :)

SystemicAnomaly 10-16-2013 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Topspin Shot (Post 7824740)
Before the actual hitting warmup, aerobic exercises followed by dynamic stretching is your best bet. Static stretching is best for after the match, to reduce soreness and improve flexibility. The exception is if you have another match coming up that day; if so, I wouldn't engage in any static stretching until the second match is over.

There really should be no problem performing static stretches after your 1st match as long as there is a gap between matches. In fact, you can perform some static stretches prior to your first match if you do so well before competition. A little bit of mild static stretching might be ok 30 minutes prior to matchplay.

However, an hour (or more) prior to matchplay is usually suggested for a moderate static stretching routine. Some players will perform a static stretch before heading over to the courts, and then perform a dynamic warmup at the courts.

TimeSpiral 10-16-2013 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Topspin Shot (Post 7824816)
Basically, but I have to sound more intelligent than just agreeing with you. :)

Hahaha, lulz. Well played.

But you wouldn't be agreeing with me. I didn't come up with any of those principles. I'm just communicating!

TimeSpiral 10-16-2013 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 7824830)
There really should be no problem performing static stretches after your 1st match as long as there is a gap between matches. In fact, you can perform some static stretches prior to your first match if you do so well before competition. A little bit of mild static stretching might be ok 30 minutes prior to matchplay.

However, an hour (or more) prior to matchplay is usually suggested for a moderate static stretching routine. Some players will perform a static stretch before heading over to the courts, and then perform a dynamic warmup at the courts.

It's true that your muscles weaken for about 30 minutes after static stretches, and that after 30 minutes those effects should be gone, but why would you suggest static stretching 30 minutes or more before a match? There appears to be no benefits to doing this. Why not just follow scientifically supported guidelines instead?

I know you've been coaching for 20+ years, so perhaps this is an old habit dying hard? :twisted:

easywin 10-16-2013 02:11 PM

I was never the guy for stretching because I'm quite tall and quite unflexible but still never hurt myself not stretching ... well until this summer when I tore my ligaments in my ankle twice in a row :)

Of course I always knew about the importance of stretching but I had to learn it the hard way :twisted:

GuyClinch 10-16-2013 03:07 PM

Just some dynamic stretches before the match for me. I play mini tennis and light loopy rallies to warm up - that's fine.

I know you are suppose to stretch out after your match but I never do - and I don't know anyone else who does either.

SystemicAnomaly 10-16-2013 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeSpiral (Post 7824843)
It's true that your muscles weaken for about 30 minutes after static stretches, and that after 30 minutes those effects should be gone, but why would you suggest static stretching 30 minutes or more before a match? There appears to be no benefits to doing this. Why not just follow scientifically supported guidelines instead?

I know you've been coaching for 20+ years, so perhaps this is an old habit dying hard? :twisted:

Nope, not a matter of old habits dying hard. Just the opposite, in fact. A decade ago I might have insisted that only dynamic stretches should be performed prior to exercise/competition. I have since modified/refined my thinking on this. Particularly, since a number of experts have indicated that we may be misinterpreting, in part, the real world applications of theese scientific studies.

I was actually aware (more than 2 decades ago) that some studies done in the 80s & early 90s that suggested that many long held notions of pre-exercise static stretching might be in error. In the early 90s, there was a fledgling school of thought that post-exercise stretching was probably more important than pre-exercise stretching. (However, I was not aware or the idea of dynamic stretching back then).

Further studies in the 90s appeared to indicate that static stretching prior to exercise did not seem to prevent injuries (or delayed-onset soreness). Some studies suggested that static stretches just prior to exercise might even promote injuries in some cases rather than prevent them. Studies were also showing that static stretching appeared to degrade muscle performance for some time (usually for 30-60 mins). Both muscle speed and muscle strength appeared to be diminished.

The idea of dynamic stretching or a dynamic warmup started to become popular some 10-15 yrs ago. However, in the past decade there appears to be a backlash by some stretching experts. Some suggest that static stretches can or even should be performed 30-60 mins prior to exercise or competition. Most of these experts still hold to the notion that the warmup just prior to wamup should be dynamic, not static.

Static stretching is currently viewed by many experts as producing primarily long-term benefits and does not seem to offer many short term benefits when performed before exercise. The experts are not all in total agreement on the real world applications of what the studies in the past few decades have been telling us. Some feel that static stretches 1 hour or so prior to excercise or competion could have some benefit in some/many cases. Age or particularly tight muscles/joints might be a factor.

I have provides a few links in the past on these various schools of thought. I might dig try to dig them up later. In the meantime, here are a few that I just came across with a quick search...

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/long_live_static_stretching
http://dynamicprinciples.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/long-term-static-stretching
http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Stretching.html
.

trader1499 10-16-2013 03:35 PM

For me, I do stretch before a match or practice. The reason though is not to prevent injury... I do it personally because I feel more loose and ready to go. It helps my confidence when I don't feel tight and my muscles are warm.

SystemicAnomaly 10-16-2013 04:14 PM

^ Have you tried dynamic stretches instead of static stretches? Or, as I suggested, perform your static stretches 30 mins or more before your practice/match. Follow this up with a good dynamic warmup (which would include dynamic stretches). As part of your dynamic warmup you could include arm circles, walking lunges, trunk twists, air or shadow swings and footwork patterns. Try this and you will probably feel confident and not feel tight.
.

Silent 10-16-2013 04:16 PM

My trainer concurs.

Dynamic stretching before, static stretching after.

I like to get myself sweating a bit too before getting on the court. Nothing fancy, just a few minutes on the bike.

It activates the muscles and otherwise gets me loose and in a good state.

Chas Tennis 10-16-2013 05:02 PM

Titin
 
I am not sure of these conclusions -

I first read about Titin a year or two ago. Before that I believed that the muscle/tendon length was determined by muscle and tendon with some murky idea of how it worked. My interpretation of new research on Titin, a giant protein molecule in each muscle cell, is that the tendon is not nearly as important. The Titin in each muscle cell (sacomere) is the most important stretch force supplier - spring. I believe that Titin is a new area of research, last 10 years.

Also, there are joint capsules and fascia with some importance for stretching.

Does it seem reasonable that the forces on the attachments, the bone origin and bone insertion of a muscle, should be equal? I just read in a text by Knudson that, while one might believe the forces should be equal, sometimes they are not because of the fascia. The muscles might apply some of its force to the fascia surounding the muscles and not all to the bone attachments. Does the fascia change when we do dynamic stretches? Is that always a positive thing?

boramiNYC 10-16-2013 05:28 PM

a brief whole body stretch like cats and dogs do after their nap can only help. from fingers to toes and neck and yawning as well. DJok's eye stretch is good too. 30 sec static stretches are pretty unusual stretches. you know how long of a hold that is? going thru each joint like that would take at least 10 min of focused hard work and huge waste of energy.

you can also mix up pieces of stretches as you start playing. tying shoelace, picking up balls. stretches don't need to be that long to be fairly effective.

Mrnoital 10-16-2013 06:21 PM

My local tennis academy does not make the kids do any stretching at all. Just a couple laps around the court.

I stretch sometimes due to ritual. I used to run a lot and would stretch very lightly beforehand but I've always thought it was more of a mental preparedness step. I definitely do not think stretching offers any actual physical benefit.

Maximagq 10-16-2013 06:30 PM

Does anyone know Djokovic's stretching routines?

boramiNYC 10-16-2013 08:13 PM

^
no stretching routine but he does yoga every single night for at least 10 min before he goes to bed.

Devil_dog 10-16-2013 09:40 PM

After tearing both calf muscles, I always do a static stretch before and after playing. Haven't re-injured either leg since. And I also try to do a 5-10 minute mini tennis warm up before going full throttle.

YMMV.

Baxter 10-17-2013 02:17 AM

I do absolutely nothing, and I play mostly singles and I'm 58. I play a 3-5 times a week and try to stay fit. I've never had a tennis injury so maybe I'm just lucky. I am always stiff in the morning but I doubt stretching would help that.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse