Extension or warm-up? Not to confuse!
Recently, newcomers often have confusion about whether stretching is a warm-up or should be carried out separately. And some avoid her altogether. This is an important issue, so in this article, common myths and misconceptions about stretching and its role in warm-up are dispelled.
What is told by science?
Most specialists define stretching as a means of preventing injuries. However, this statement is very incomplete, because the impact of stretching on injury prevention and performance improvement cannot be measured. Of course, you will have improved muscle flexibility, but it will be almost impossible to determine the change in their condition to injury.
The main confusion is that the stretch is positioned as a warm-up — which is what causes many to abandon the stretch altogether.
Stretching is part of the warm-up!
Stretching is an important part of warm-up, but not the warm-up itself!
Although warm-up consists of separate elements — they are all carried out together in order to minimize the probability of injury and prepare the body for physical activity. Here are four main key components of warm-up, providing effective and complete heating of muscles before training:
1. General warming up.
The stage of mild physical activity in order to increase the rate of pulse and breathing, ensure a more dense flow of blood to muscles and increase their temperature. This also includes the warm-up of joints by rotational movements.
2. Static extension.
Mild static stretching, helping to kind of lengthen all major muscle, tendon and ligament groups. Makes muscles work all along.
3. Direct warm-up.
These are more often the first 1-2 approaches in a particular exercise, when first you feel muscle work in an exercise with an empty makeup on 12-15 repeats, then increase a bit of weight and do another 10-12 repeats to prepare the muscles for base load.
4. Dynamic extension.
This stretch involves weight control during the negative phase of performing an exercise or «mild» muscle failure. This warm-up phase is only allowed in exercises where 1-2 muscle groups are involved (different traction on units and simulators). But remember that weight needs to be controlled always.
All 4 phases are very important and should not be neglected. And remember that the best results are achieved only with the correct use of warm-up and stretching.