Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching for kickers

wynnema

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I have long been an advocate of dynamic stretching. I was always able to kick higher than some people at my class who had better passive flexibility than me and the dynamic warm up worked (and still does) better than a static warm up.

However for the past month I have done a static stretching routine (including static active holds) every night without warming up and have dropped the dynamic leg swings (except for warm-up for class). In return my kicking height, control of kicks and general smoothness has improved significantly. It takes me less time to reach my flexibility limit when warming up and can kick higher cold. I have found this to be far better at improving my ability to kick cold than just doing dynamic leg swings every morning as suggested by Kurz.

Kurz argues that if you want higher kicks then dynamic stretches need to be the focus of your stretching. In fact you need a good static range of motion first he is not very clear on this. If you dont have good static ROM then any dynamic stretching you do will likely turn into a ballistic stretch as you consistently try to push past your current level of flexibility.

I still think you should avoid static stretches before class and as part of a warm up, but if you want to improve the control, smoothness and height of your kicks your main focus should be on static stretches to improve range of motion.

BTW I only did a few stretches that focused on the hamstring and inner thigh. I did not do ballistic stretching but gently moved in and out of the stretch. I used this routine:

http://www.shouyuliang.com/newsletter/v2n3/v2n3a6.shtml
 

Kacey

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We generally do a combination of dynamic and static stretching in our warm-ups, largely because some of the difference in what works is individual - what works for me may not be as effective for others. However, warmups are just that - an opportunity to warm up your muscles to reduce injuries. If you want to improve your flexibility, then you need to stretch after working out, when your muscles are already warmed up and somewhat fatigued. At that point, I find that static stretches work better for increasing flexibilty than dynamic stretches - but that's what works for me, especially as I took yoga for a good long time, and incorporated a lot of the yoga movements into my stretching, and yoga is all static, in the sense that each movement is entered slowly and then held for a period of time. There are lots of books and websites about how to stretch, but like anything else, it has to be what works for you; I don't think that there's one totally right answer to this question.
 

Christina05

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Kacey said:
We generally do a combination of dynamic and static stretching in our warm-ups, largely because some of the difference in what works is individual - what works for me may not be as effective for others. However, warmups are just that - an opportunity to warm up your muscles to reduce injuries. If you want to improve your flexibility, then you need to stretch after working out, when your muscles are already warmed up and somewhat fatigued. At that point, I find that static stretches work better for increasing flexibilty than dynamic stretches - but that's what works for me, especially as I took yoga for a good long time, and incorporated a lot of the yoga movements into my stretching, and yoga is all static, in the sense that each movement is entered slowly and then held for a period of time. There are lots of books and websites about how to stretch, but like anything else, it has to be what works for you; I don't think that there's one totally right answer to this question.

I would totally have to agree with Kacey on this one. Not everyone is built the same so what works for you might not work for other people.
 

Sam

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I personally have never been a stretcher. In sparring class, for the first 5 minutes I keep my kicks at about waist height, and after my muscles are "warm" I will start kicking to the head. Stretching before class doesnt do anything for me.
 

FearlessFreep

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I find stretcing is much more effective if t he muscles are warm and full of blood first. So I'll do some jumping jacks, or some leg lifts, or some static stances at full tension. Something that gets the muscles working, hen move on to the stretching.


I liken it to a sponge. A spoge with water in it is more flexible than a dry sponge. Stretching cold muscles that are not warmed up doesn't do as much good.
 

crushing

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I wish I could speak from having an excellent background in stretching, but that would be a stretch; but, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Expr. . . wait. . . I mean I heard a story on NPR about active isolated stretching the other morning. It sounded very interesting and may give you a little different perspective.

I dug up a link with an audio link and some examples, and it looks like they are soliciting peoples questions about stretching.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5584414
 

TigerWoman

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Dynamic stretching only gets you so far, and its better for a warmup to get into your normal range. As we have been having excessive heat with a index well over 100, our air conditioning once again failed. So we did our normal 15 rising front stretch kicks and side stretch kicks and pushups, then proceeded into isometric stretches with partners. Another person held the leg up in a front split while you are standing and then you press down. We also did side kick position. I have never gone completely down into a split, usually a couple of inches left, but I did on Friday. At age 56, that's not bad and I am the most flexible in my class (without ballet training either).

And my normal sidekicks were much higher too. Actually the master got out his digital camera. Unfortunately this always takes a partner that can hold you and these stretching sessions are few and far between. But after reading Kurz, Jean Frenette's Guide to Stretching, and Relax into Stretch by Pavel Tsatsouline over the years and trying their methods, taking Pilates, and Yoga too, I really think this way is the ticket. Even alone you can do isometric side split stretches, contracting your inner thigh for 10-15 sec. and you will go down, then doing the front split and doing the same inbetween makes the side split even easier. Most important you have to have the discipline to practice on a regular basis 3-4 times a week, at least. TW
 
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