An Investigation into the Effects of Different Warm-Up Modalities on Specific Motor Skills Related to Soccer Performance FLETCHER, I.M. M O N T E - C O L OM B O , M . M . JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING RESEARCH 2010
Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different warm-up stretch modalities on specific high-speed motor capabilities important to soccer performance.
Methods Twenty-seven male soccer players performed 3 warm-up conditions, active warm-up (WU), WU with static stretching (SPS), and WU with dynamic stretching (ADS). Heart rate, counter-movement jump, 20-m sprint, and Balsom agility tests were performed after each intervention.
Procedures The WU trial involved the subjects jogging for 5 minutes at a self selected pace.
Procedures The SPS protocol involved the subjects performing the 5- minute self-selected-paced jog before incorporating a stretching routine of the lower body musculature. Muscles stretched were the hamstrings, quadriceps, abductors, adductors, gluteus maximum, hip flexors, gastrocnemius, and solei. Stretches were weld at a point of mild discomfort for 15 seconds per muscle, repeated twice for the hamstring, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, and solei muscle and repeated once on the other muscles, totaling 3 minutes per leg of static passive stretching of the lower limbs musculature.
Procedures The ADS protocol consisted of the 5-minute self-selected- paced jog followed by a series of lower body dynamic stretches. The exercises chosen were heel flicks, high knees, hip rolls, walking on toes, straight leg skipping, and walking lunges. Stretches were designed to stretch the same muscles as the SPS protocol. The movements were carried out 12 times for each muscle and repeated twice totaling 144 repetitions (a walk back recovery was employed between exercise sets to minimize any chances of fatigue). Stretches should be considered active dynamic stretches as the movements were carried out while jogging.
Results Differences between physical performance tests for the 3 experimental conditions employed.
Results Differences between heart rates for the 3 trial conditions.
Results Vertical jumps heights were greater in the WU and ADS conditions compared to those in the SPS trial. The 20-m sprint and agility times showed that the SPS condition was slower than the WU and ADS conditions, with the ADS trial being faster than the WU condition. Heart rate was higher for participants post-WU and –ADS trials compared to the SPS condition.
Conclusions These findings suggest that the superior performance of the dynamic stretch and warm-up- only conditions compared to the static stretch condition may be linked to increases in heart rate. The reasons for the dynamic stretch trial superiority compared to the warm-up conditions are less clear and as yet to be established. We recommend for optimal performance, specific dynamic stretches be employed as part of a warm-up rather than the tradition static stretches.
Practical Applications It appears that static passive stretch modalities performed as part of a warm-up strategy are detrimental to the performance of short duration high-intensity specific movement skills linked to soccer performance. We recommend that to optimize physical performance in soccer games or training, any warm-up static stretch routines be replaced by active dynamic stretches, which should specifically stretch the musculature that is required in the movements that are going to be attempted during any game scenario.