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Old 09-24-2002, 12:48 PM   #9
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Erik Haselhofer (Erik) wrote:
1) I'm kind of like Jun on this one. I pretty much let people do what they want to do in terms of stretching and then do a gradual warm up in terms of the practice.

2) When I played basketball I used to do a lot of stretching and it seemed (no scientific study here ) to take a bit out of me and I'd seemly get injured just as much, or more, as when I didn't stretch. I eventually changed what I did and now rarely do a full-on stretch prior to class preferring to just do a gradual warm up.

To answer the original question ("I am hoping to hear from students and teachers over what their favorite 'things' to do in warm up are, and why."), I begin with laps around the dojo--running, er, trotting, really. I find that SUBURI at the same time makes me warmer faster and so will institute that in my classes, too. I sometimes do jumping-jacks, the only benefit of which is, indeed, thermal. This is so popular with some students that they come late to class ten minutes. I do stretching AFTER class (see the reference below which persuaded me to do this.)

1) One of the few times I've disagreed with Jun. I do warm ups in my class--contra the pointed comment of a peer who said he leaves that as trainees responsibility BEFORE class--because most people don't actually do warm ups at all. They stretch. Indeed, at the dojo where I train, I make sure to get to class half an hour early to get "Warmed Up". "Warm-ups" in the dojo--i.e., stretching--actually cool me down. I regard this as unsafe and therefore act as much as it is in my power to do so, to countermand it when teaching. (Alas, as a post above grinned, folk don't always like that.)

2) Your experience reiterates research. See Duane Knudson; Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Reston; Sep 1999; Vol. 70, Iss. 7; pg. 24, 5 pgs


There is a lack of scientific evidence supporting the injury-preventing or performance benefits of stretching during warm-up for most activities. The primary injury-prevention benefit of a warm-up seems to be related to the increased temperature of the muscle. There is even evidence that isometric muscle actions as warm-up may be as effective as stretching in creating a decrease in passive tension in muscle (Safran et al., 1989; Taylor, Brooks, & Ryan, 1997). Light to moderate muscle actions of gradually increasing intensity are more appropriate than stretching as warm-up activities for most sports.

In some activities where static flexibility beyond normal ranges is needed (e.g., diving, gymnastics, and dance), stretching during the warm-up may be indicated because of a short-term increase in static flexibility. This stretching, however, should occur only after several minutes of light movement elevates the body temperature.

There is strong evidence of longterm increases in static flexibility, but inconclusive evidence of changes in dynamic flexibility with stretching. Stretching for most physical activities should be scheduled during the cooldown phase of a workout. "

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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