Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Warm-up Right for Bigger Improvements

Time to catch up on some research.

This study from the latest Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (23(6)/1811-1819) concerns a comparison between three warm-up methods: Static stretching, light aerobics (15 minutes on a stationary bike), and a dynamic warm-up consisting of various leg swings, lunges, lateral steps, and kick backs.

Three groups of untrained college age females were put through 3 test session over 2 weeks, plus one familiarization session. Each group would perform the assigned warm-up then would be measured for max vertical jump, peak force production (time to maximum contraction of the right quadriceps), and joint range of motion. Subjects were measured pre-warmup, 5 minutes post, and 30 minutes post.


For the peak force measurement the aerobic warm-up group improved an average of 10% from pre-test to 5 minutes post-test, while the static stretching group showed no improvement. The dynamic warm-up group however showed a 27% improvement.

For the vertical jump test the dynamic warm-up group again showed the biggest improvement, with the static stretching group coming in last again.

Concerning the joint range of motion there were no significant statistical changes between the three groups. All three showed equal improved range of motion.

One can conclude from this that dynamic warm-ups will give you the biggest bang for your buck. If you want to get the most out of your training I highly suggest some sort of warm-up similar to that demonstrated below by Todd Durkin.

No comments: