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Dynamic stretching explained

orienteeringtvuk video by orienteeringtvuk

Paul Murgatroyd, in this YouTube video, explains the how and why of warming up prior to orienteering, including info about dynamic stretching.


Paul is a regular contributor to CompassSport magazine with articles about fitness and training and a member of the Linconshire Orienteering Group (LOG).

The video is one of those on the orienteeringtvuk YouTube channel which also contains some very well presented videos about orienteering events.


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Photo of authorPosted on 09th Jan 12
by Paul Frost - Website Developer


Bill Melville says:

From experience- if you have any hint of injury, past or present, avoid dynamic stretching.

Posted by Bill Melville on 09th Jan 12 at 04:37 PM

Gross says:

Got to agree with Bill.

Posted by Gross on 10th Jan 12 at 01:53 PM

Adam Hunter says:

A great post and some interesting comments. Scientific studies have shown that running performance can improve when dynamic stretching is included in the warm-up compared to static stretching. The reasons for this were that with dynamic stretching, the body is still moving, the heart rate is still raised, the blood is still pumping and the muscles to be used during the run were being taken through their range of motion (ROM) in motions that were similar to how they were going to be used during the event.

The key to effective dynamic stretching is knowing exactly what it is…
Dynamic stretching should take the joints through their ‘normal’ ROM i.e. not go beyond where you would get to with a static stretch. If you keep to this rule, dynamic stretching can be really effective because you’re taking the joints and muscles through their normal ROM in a similar way to how you’re going to ask them to work during the event, in this case, running. The problem lies in the fact that when you’re moving, you create momentum and when the joint is close to the end of its ROM, that momentum could take it past where you would normally hold a static stretch. So I would agree with the comments above that if you’re carrying an injury, steer clear from the dynamic stretch – imagine you’re recovering from a small Achilles tear and you step down into a dynamic calf stretch. When you step in, your body weight creates momentum so if you go just beyond the point of a comfortable stretch, your body weight will still be moving downwards and could cause your Achilles to over-stretch, re-tear and put you on the sidelines for a couple more weeks.

Going beyond the point where you would normally hold a static stretch moves into “ballistic stretching” territory – this is when you stretch a muscle but then “bounce” at its extreme ROM. This is not recommended as it can cause tendon damage – if you want to improve flexibility, use static stretching and hold for 30 seconds. Static stretching is also useful if you’re recovering from an injury – the beauty of static stretching is that you are always in control of how far you go so can stop at any time.

One of the key things to remember for dynamic stretching, is that to get the benefits from it, you don’t necessarily have to take the joints to their extreme ROM, you just need to take them through and slightly beyond the ROM they will do during the event. So you don’t necessarily have to actually feel a stretch to get the benefits. For orienteering, high knees and bum kicks to a height that feels comfortable are a great way for getting the hips, knees, hamstrings, quads and glutes warmed up. Bear in mind dynamic stretching should only be done after some light jogging to start with so you’ve already started to get the whole body warm. Use dynamic stretching carefully and I think it can be a great way to warm-up and prepare for orienteering.

Posted by Adam Hunter on 16th Jan 12 at 11:35 PM


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