Stretch-Induced Reductions in Throwing Performance Are Attenuated by Warm-up Before Exercise.J Strength Cond Res. 2015 May; 29(5):1393-8.JS
Recent investigations have suggested that static stretching (SS) performed before exercise reduces muscular performance. However, it is yet unknown whether dynamic warm-up exercises performed together with SS may actually minimize the detrimental acute effects of stretching on muscular performance. This study aimed to assess the effects of static shoulder stretching exercises, dynamic warm-up exercises, or both together, on muscular performance evaluated by ball throwing. Twenty-one female handball players (age: 16.2 ± 1.0 years [range: 14-18 years], height: 167.0 ± 10.0 cm [range: 158-179 cm], and body mass: 63.3 ± 7.6 kg [range: 50.4-77.4 kg]) performed SS, dynamic warm-up exercises or both, targeting the muscles of the upper limbs. Thereafter, medicine ball throwing distance and handball ball throwing speed tests were performed. Static stretching performed before the medicine ball throwing test reduced performance when compared with the warm-up exercises (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02-0.17, p ≤ 0.05, effect size [ES] = 0.34). When a warm-up exercise routine was added to SS, the detrimental effects of SS were abolished (95% CI = -0.01 to 0.18, p > 0.05, ES = 0.31). The throwing speed was the same over the 3 conditions. In conclusion, warm-up exercises performed together with SS abolished the impairment in medicine ball throwing distance. We recommend that athletes perform warm-up exercises together with SS before activity to avoid detrimental effects on muscle strength.