Dynamic stretching has become increasingly popular stretching technique for athletes of all ages. Dynamic stretching is a controlled movement that involves an active range of motion for each joint in the body. It involves stretching while the athletes are actively moving. Dynamic stretching is used to improve flexibility in motion and does so by resembling movements you would normally make in your sport. In comparison, static dynamic stretching involves an athlete stretching their muscles in a stationary position. Track athletes normally have extensive warm up and stretch routines before their meets, and believe that these stretches lead to enhanced performance and a decrease in injury. By performing dynamic stretches instead of stationary stretches it is thought that an athletes range of motion of their joints increase and blood and oxygen flow increases to the brain, leading to an increase in performance.
We have millions of athletes of all ages in our country today and it is important to find out what is best for them to optimize their performance and prevent injury. According to the CDC more than 2.6 million children aged 0-19 years old are treated each year for sports and recreation related injuries. If even some of these injuries could be prevented by stretching before an athletic event, it is worth doing research on such a topic. Conducting a research study on track athletes aged 14-22 years old who specialize in sprinting, we then can apply what we have learned here to other sports that involve sprinting. By studying track athletes sprinting performance after carrying out different types of stretches, we can determine whether dynamic stretching is really beneficial to the athlete. This type of research can help us keep more of our athletes healthy and improve upon their performance on the track field. Conclusive data will help future athletes be able to define what makes dynamic stretching different from static and use this to optimize an athletes overall performance.
There are mixed reviews of whether dynamic stretching is actually beneficial for athletes. In the study by Behm and Chaouachi (2011) they tested the duration of stretching and if that affects the effectiveness of dynamic stretches and static stretches. They found that static stretching provides benefits in some cases such as slower velocity contractions and those over a longer duration. Dynamic stretching according to this study had little to no effect on performance for the athletes, especially over long distances. They found the key to stretching is to incorporate a high intensity aerobic activity followed by dynamic stretching and then finished with a sport specific dynamic activity (Behm and Chaouachi, 2011).
In the Chaouachi et al. (2010) study they investigated the effects of dynamic stretching and static stretching alone and in combination on an athletes agility, sprinting, and jump performance. This study found that static stretching did not affect performance...