The Effects Of Stretching On Sports Injuries And Performance

1152 words - 5 pages

This article is a review of the literature on the effects of stretching on sports injuries and performance. It is critical to understand that this is a review of findings, and not a new study on the effects of stretching in regards to sports injuries and performance. The methods that were used to determine if stretching made a difference in reducing the prevalence of sports injuries and performance, was a systematic review to examine the effects of viscoelastic and neural effects of stretching. Viscoelastic effects have changes in the range of motion and resistance to stretch after an acute bout of stretching. (McHugh & Cosgrave, 2010) Neural effects when stretching are refereeing to the stretch-induced strength loss. (McHugh & Cosgrave, 2010) Depending on the type, time, and duration of the stretch, the results can vary. The methods that were used in this article were to examine numerous studies on the muscles, to see if the range of motion increased or decreased based on certain types of stretches. Ballistic stretching, dynamic stretching and static stretching were all performed to see which if any, would have an effect on performance or injury. Static stretching is when you hold the stretch for a certain amount of time, with varying degrees of difficulty. (Delavier & Gundill, 2011) Statics stretches are usually done when sitting down or stationary. Ballistic stretching focuses on stretching the muscles more than they naturally would by pulling the muscles, and using small, abrupt movements that are repeated. (Delavier & Gundill, 2011) And last, but not least, dynamic stretching is stretching that can be done while you are in motion.
The summary of the results of the article focused on the effects of stretching on performance and the effect of stretching on injury risk. In regards to the effect of stretching on performance the article’s findings state that strength of the muscles is lost after a series of stretches, with evidence providing that the loss of muscle strength is due to neural effects. (Avela et al., 2004) It must also be noted that the loss of strength in the muscle was also shown on the opposite limb that was not stretched. (McHugh & Cosgrave, 2010) Most of the stretches that were done in the study were held for 8 minutes or less, to determine the strength loss and the power loss. Stretching technique, contraction type, and the muscle length are all factors in determining the strength loss with stretching. (McHugh & Cosgrave, 2010) Dynamic stretching showed no stretch-induced strength loss. (McHugh & Cosgrave, 2010) Different studies show that the contraction type had different results in regards to stretch-induced strength loss with eccentric contractions. The muscle length also showed no stretch-induced strength loss with longer muscles. (McHugh & Cosgrave, 2010) Based on the findings from the numerous studies within this article, stretch-induced reductions in regards to performance are fairly low with 0-8% range of...

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