untitledAccording to Dallas Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett, the team may be behind the times when it comes to their strength and conditioning program. He says “Typically, we’ve done kind of old team stretch, and we’re experimenting with dynamic warm-up stuff that I’ve done in my past, other coaches have done in the past. You try to be innovative, you try to evolve, you get feedback from the players, you get feedback from the coaches. We just try to help our players get themselves more ready to practice and hopefully stay healthier over time.”

Can the outdated, static stretching, regiment that the Cowboys do be affecting the players and putting them at risk for injury?

Studies have shown an improvement in flexibility after both static stretching and dynamic stretching compared to no stretching at all. Athletes in sports requiring lower-extremity power should use dynamic, rather than static, stretching techniques in warm-up to enhance flexibility while improving performance.

Dynamic stretching keeps joints and muscles moving, and can mimic movements that are specific to a sport. Static stretching will help elongate the muscles but there is no movement of the untitled2muscles during stretching activity. Blood circulation, strength and endurance are improved by the continuous movements involved with dynamic stretching. Static stretching can increased the blood pressure, but sometimes to dangerously high levels.

Static stretching should not be painful. The stretch should be held steady for 60-120 seconds to achieve the full effects of the stretch. Dynamic stretching helps increase blood flow, core temperature, and activates the nervous system, linking the brain and the muscles.

While both types of stretching can be beneficial to an athlete, as mentioned previously, dynamic stretching should be practice by those athletes that require more lower extremity power. Every player on the football field has to use lower leg power at some point during the game. Appropriately warming up muscles can help reduce the occurrence of injury. The Dallas Cowboys are aware that their current strength and conditioning program is outdated. However, other sports teams and/or athletes may want to consider the differences between these to forms of stretching before stepping into action.

 

Provided by the Primus Sports Medicine Staff

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