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Old 04-03-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
Janet Rosen
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Static Stretching...

More research against it as a pre-exercise "warm up" - but I feel like I'm facing down a chorus of folks in dogi and hakama singing "Tradition!"

"More fundamentally, the results underscore the importance of not prepping for exercise by stretching, he said. "We can now say for sure that static stretching alone is not recommended as an appropriate form of warm-up," he said. "A warm-up should improve performance," he pointed out, not worsen it.
A better choice, he continued, is to warm-up dynamically, by moving the muscles that will be called upon in your workout. Jumping jacks and toy-soldier-like high leg kicks, for instance, prepare muscles for additional exercise better than stretching. As an unscientific side benefit, they can also be fun."
or of course general aikido movement exercises...

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:00 AM   #2
GMaroda
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Re: Static Stretching...

On the other hand, the article does say that the studies only apply to performance requiring explosive power and strength. And I didn't see anything about stretching hurting anything other than performance.

That said, I do like a more rounded group warm up. I just can't get myself to push hard enough for a true warm up. I need the group effort.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:01 AM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Static Stretching...

I've never been a big fan of pre warm up stretching. All training I have recieved from Fitness Organizations are against it. I support dynamic warm up as you state and that is what I do.

I think stretching or better yes, range of motion cool down should be done after practice.

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Old 04-03-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
Basia Halliop
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Re: Static Stretching...

GMaroda, I believe I've seen studies that showed a difference in injury rates depending on pre-training exercises. Which would certainly be of interest to aikidoka.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:23 AM   #5
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Re: Static Stretching...

I'm not saying "tradition" although it is perhaps related: why would you warm up any conventional muscles for use in an art that often purports not to use them? And I agree that "warming up" those muscles that you're trying not to use would not be achieved by stretching them.

Carl
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:25 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
GMaroda, I believe I've seen studies that showed a difference in injury rates depending on pre-training exercises. Which would certainly be of interest to aikidoka.
Correct. I am here ADDING TO an ongoing posting of relevent articles as they become available over the years. Microtears of cold muscles being stretched is akready documentrd. This article does mention the study author's belief based on prior studies which have also been widely published that endurance is also affected.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:27 AM   #7
graham christian
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Re: Static Stretching...

I think it's very basic and common sense. You warm up those parts that are going to be used in what you are doing. You prepare those parts for action. Preparing the wall because you are going to paint the ceiling is dumb and not preparing the wall before painting it is dumber and it is this failing which leads to damage.

It would be assumed generally that any warm up is already designed with this taken into account but assumed is the word.

Stretching is another matter in as much as looking at what stretching actually is and what it's purpose is.

Overstretching for example is damaging anyway. The experts in this field I would imagine would be in yoga so that alone tells you theres an art and indeed technology extant to that one aspect.

When showing people how to stretch myself I use a technique which involves no force or 'pushing' or straining.

For example touching the toes or floor depending how flexible you are to start with. I get people to lean over and see how near to the toes they can stretch, nice and comfortably and note where they reached. The I have them put themselves back in that position and relax. Let go of any intention or exertion towards pushing that bit further and just to flow Ki to the floor. Now the main bit. Having done the above now actually see the floor receiving their Ki and the effect being that the floor is now drawing your hands towards it. Amazingly they stretch further without force and without strain.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: Static Stretching...

If anybody can provide links to articles on studies showing physiological benefits of pre-workout static stretching it would be appreciated. Not aware of any.
(Graham this is not a reply to your post but a continuation of mine)

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
graham christian
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
If anybody can provide links to articles on studies showing physiological benefits of pre-workout static stretching it would be appreciated. Not aware of any.
(Graham this is not a reply to your post but a continuation of mine)
Appreciated Janet. It's an interesting subject. I was shown another 'type' of exercise by a friend and the result was good and enlivening for the whole body prior to training yet the doing of it was rather hilarious. I'll see if I can get links from him and forward them on It combined stretching with shaking and mainly shaking and was given as an exercise for all the cells in the body. We all had fun doing it and I'm sure laughing at each other exercised the inner cells

Apparently according to what we were told it was something zulu warriors used to do before combat.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:51 AM   #10
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
If anybody can provide links to articles on studies showing physiological benefits of pre-workout static stretching it would be appreciated. Not aware of any.
(Graham this is not a reply to your post but a continuation of mine)
I would also be interested in such articles. However I suspect, given the esoteric nature of the activity being practiced, that they would be few and far between. At the same time, I'd like to see more evidence regarding how these studies into preparing one's muscles for usage (correctly or incorrectly) is relevant to aikido.

Carl
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:53 AM   #11
graham christian
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Re: Static Stretching...

What Science Can Teach Us About Flexibility-Yoga Journal.

That's the title from a google article you may like. For some reason when I tried to put the link it didn't work.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:00 AM   #12
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
What Science Can Teach Us About Flexibility-Yoga Journal.

That's the title from a google article you may like. For some reason when I tried to put the link it didn't work.

Peace.G.
Were you trying to link to this?

http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/209

All this talk of internals... anyone would think you were jumping on a bandwagon or sumfink.

Carl
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:21 AM   #13
Janet Rosen
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I'm not saying "tradition" although it is perhaps related: why would you warm up any conventional muscles for use in an art that often purports not to use them? And I agree that "warming up" those muscles that you're trying not to use would not be achieved by stretching them.

Carl
Carl, how can you stand up, breathe, or reach for a can of peas (or your partner's wrist) without using muscles? Really...I am reminded of Tohei Sensei being asked to use ki to pick something up..he laughed and reached out and picked it up.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:23 AM   #14
graham christian
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Were you trying to link to this?

http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/209

All this talk of internals... anyone would think you were jumping on a bandwagon or sumfink.

Carl
Yeah, that;s the one. Thought Janet and others may like it's approach. Didn't fully even read it myself but saw it had fascia and such like in it. Hopefully it fits the bill..bet y'all will luv it!

Peace.G.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:26 AM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Yeah, that;s the one. Thought Janet and others may like it's approach. Didn't fully even read it myself but saw it had fascia and such like in it. Hopefully it fits the bill..bet y'all will luv it!

Peace.G.
Nice overview of physiology.
One thing it doesn't address much (which is fine, it's outside the purpose of the article) is the stuff that gets in the way of being able to stretch properly - such as trigger points in the muscles. It does talk about Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, a wonderful technique for releasing tension in a muscle when you have somebody who can do it to you.
Self care for trigger points generally involves targeted pressure on the point using your own body weight - like working quads on a foam roller, something I'd be a total mess without attending to at regular intervals, or placing a rubber ball between your back and the wall.
I'm not at all "against" stretching - at the right time for the right reasons

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:17 AM   #16
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Carl, how can you stand up, breathe, or reach for a can of peas (or your partner's wrist) without using muscles? Really...I am reminded of Tohei Sensei being asked to use ki to pick something up..he laughed and reached out and picked it up.
Hey Janet

I appreciate your ongoing work to make people aware that stretching muscles does not warm them up and can have adverse effects when they are used. Please don't change what I wrote ("conventional muscles") to just "muscles". I asked you an honest question, which you have overlooked.

Carl
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:08 AM   #17
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Re: Static Stretching...

I do myofascial rolling before working out with some slowly and light increasing ROM exerciaes.

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:00 AM   #18
Walter Martindale
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Re: Static Stretching...

Carl:
What's the difference between a "conventional" muscle and whatever other type you're referring to?
If they're skeletal muscles going from one bone across a joint to another bone, they're pretty much the same everywhere, with minor variations for twitch speed, endurance, staining characteristics, etc..
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:01 AM   #19
Basia Halliop
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Re: Static Stretching...

You can easily get injured just by moving your body through a range of motion... Particulary as uke... With the odd positions we're in, gravity and our own body weight provides plenty of force on the body.

You tenkan quickly but your foot doesn't quite keep up and you put a funny torque on your knee.

You squat low in a horsestance

You knee walk, which puts all kinds of weird strains on all kinds of parts of your body

E.g., someone does a technique on you that raises your shoulder to a point where you'd normally be perfectly fine but one day you're a bit stiffer and suddenly that was too much or too sudden.

You lose balance, stumble to regain it, and twist an ankle or knee.

You are thrown and get up oddly, putting a lot of strain on something in your leg.

You're thrown a bit differently from normal and have to suddenly twist your whole body in the air to land safely.

You land funny and your back muscles take the impact, or a shoulder.

Tendons, ligaments, muscles, all going through a big range of unusual motions.

I find warmups before help (by which I mean things that actually get you warm, not static stretching), and I find stretching AFTER helps a lot, and generally being flexible and strong helps prevent injuries.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #20
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Re: Static Stretching...

I've experience more than a few 'warm ups' that left me colder and stiffer than when I got on the mat. Particulalry in cold weather.

I'd come into the dojo reasonably warm from biking a couple of kilometres to get there, and by the time the 'warm-up' was over I'd be stiff and cold and losing feeling in my feet from kneeling so much and maybe even starting to shiver if the weather was cold enough. Not a great way to then start a class.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #21
Janet Rosen
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Hey Janet

I appreciate your ongoing work to make people aware that stretching muscles does not warm them up and can have adverse effects when they are used. Please don't change what I wrote ("conventional muscles") to just "muscles". I asked you an honest question, which you have overlooked.

Carl
I was not trying to be evasive or snarky. I am simply not aware of any difference between "conventional' muscles and other muscle and I don't divide my body into "those muscles I need in order to sew with" with" versus "those muscles I need in order to do aikido." In order to pivot, extend arms, tenkan, drop center, open hips, walk, roll, fall, etc the entire body (minus whatever parts may be missing or lack sensory or motor connections due to illness or injury) needs to be engaged and available, whether we are relying on muscle A or muscle B to "do" a particular action, so it behooves us to have the body as warmed up and supple as possible.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:32 AM   #22
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I was not trying to be evasive or snarky. I am simply not aware of any difference between "conventional' muscles and other muscle and I don't divide my body into "those muscles I need in order to sew with" with" versus "those muscles I need in order to do aikido." In order to pivot, extend arms, tenkan, drop center, open hips, walk, roll, fall, etc the entire body (minus whatever parts may be missing or lack sensory or motor connections due to illness or injury) needs to be engaged and available, whether we are relying on muscle A or muscle B to "do" a particular action, so it behooves us to have the body as warmed up and supple as possible.
I don't divide up muscle groups for sewing either... I think you're trying to argue at cross-purposes to me, since I don't disagree with your research. You'll have to pardon me for merely questioning how we can interpret this into our training, since we're all different in our methodology.

Carl
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:54 AM   #23
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Re: Static Stretching...

I have moved the posts regarding "Conventional Muscles and Internal Power" to a new thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22542

-- Jun

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Old 04-06-2013, 12:46 AM   #24
Michael Varin
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I've experience more than a few 'warm ups' that left me colder and stiffer than when I got on the mat. Particulalry in cold weather.

I'd come into the dojo reasonably warm from biking a couple of kilometres to get there, and by the time the 'warm-up' was over I'd be stiff and cold and losing feeling in my feet from kneeling so much and maybe even starting to shiver if the weather was cold enough. Not a great way to then start a class.
Interesting that you mention this.

I recently went to a seminar with a 7th dan, and her warm up was wretchedly inefficient and ineffective. So much so, that I and a few others did our own warm ups on the second day, instead of participating in the group warm up.

I put a great deal of effort and attention into my training, and have long been interested in physiology and movement. I do great warm ups!

I have come to realize that group warm ups suck! They are often necessary for beginners and those who are out of touch with their bodies, but in truth, a warm up is and should be highly personal.

All this talk of "conventional" and "unconventional" muscles is as stupid as it gets. The human body was designed to function in a way the pre-dated the concepts we may have about its functions.

I use static stretching. I even use it sometimes in my warm up. But more often than not I am using a combination of some sort of circling or dynamic mobility or active stretching (using muscle contraction to stretch antagonistic muscles) or self-myofascial release (foam rolling).

Besides the negative impact on performance, static or passive stretching actually make your joints more prone to injury.

The bottom line is that the human body responds much better to taking it through a range of motion under its own muscular control than it does to stretching beyond those limits.

It is not difficult to put together a wonderful warm up that takes only a few minutes... This isn't rocket science!

-Michael
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:36 AM   #25
Janet Rosen
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Re: Static Stretching...

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I put a great deal of effort and attention into my training, and have long been interested in physiology and movement. I do great warm ups!

I have come to realize that group warm ups suck! They are often necessary for beginners and those who are out of touch with their bodies, but in truth, a warm up is and should be highly personal.
Funny you say that...after the brief group range of motion warmups I lead my little class through, I always say, "we are all different, so now everybody take 2 or 3 minutes to move around the mat however you need or want to, working on whatever your body needs." No two of us ever do the same things...

Janet Rosen
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