There’s a mindset and perception here that’s pointing to .. and building up to “static stretching” is bad for you. It’s no good. It’s dangerous. It can hurt you . There’s no benefit at all from doing this.
Hold on boy’s and girls. Let’s take the subject of static stretching for what it is … and what it is not.
First, what it is
Static Stretching is nothing more than just that.. stretching. So, ever wake up in the morn… roll out of the ole sack and raise your arms up and take a stretch for yourself? Or, ever sit in class for a period of time in a desk that makes you stretch a bit after getting up and leaving?
Now, anybody ever say to you …”don’t do that! It’s not good for you!” Of course not. And I’ll bet nobody ever suggested that you take a few laps around the bedpost first thing in the morning … or jog a few steps back and forth from the blackboard to the rear wall in class immediately after getting out of that uncomfortable desk either.
As a point of interest, if you get a chance… watch a track runner… a srinter, high hurtles, or 440 athlete and watch their prep work. Depending on how their sensing their equipment (body), some will do a very slow torso bend, sit on the track grass and stretch their legs and touch their heads to their knees, and so on before that jog or hop step –n – jog. Now why would they do that? The primary reason is these athletes prior to engaging the equipment (body) in action of any kind, want to FEEL the feedback of their body for tightness, soreness, …just the
“ok” that’s everything is ready to accept the next stage in their warm up routine.
And that’s what Static Stretching is basically for… getting to know your equipment (body).. to a point … that day for that days anticipated work.
If you were to take the practice field or on game day.. bullpen duty, you’d be very concerned about how you were going to perform if say … you had a charley horse grab you .. off and on an hour before getting to the field. And if you slept on the wrong side during the night and were stiff all over… I guarantee you one of the last things that your going to do is to start jogging around the baselines. What your going to do is sit on the field and slightly bend your torso, stretch out the ole legs and lightly do a few trunk twists. Basically, what your doing is the same thing that the track athlete is doing.. checking out the equipment to see how the "stuff “feels” before you take it for light test drive.
What Static Stretching is not.
Static Stretching is not a constant point in time exercise plan/routine that is forever cast in stone, the supreme rule, nothing beats it, do it or else. Like anything that has human conditioning involved, there was a reason for it at one time and … well we did it, not thinking beyond that reason. And why should we? It seemed to work. Heck, we did it in gym classes for generations, we did it in boot camps for generations..(anyone ever hear “drop and give me fifty?) But to be a one-size-fits-all, it’s not.
Now something new enters the picture and the conversations about the new and the old start claims that trashes the old for being unnecessary, harmful and even dangerous. And on that note, I once had a neighbor who was really into yoga, I mean really into it. We got into a conversation one day about exercises… his and mine… and before I knew it… I left his back yard his almost convinced that I was killing my guys. “Ah yes… let your mind take you to your inner deepness” he’d say. If I tried half of that stuff on the field with my bunch, my guys would collectively say "Coach B has gone bey bey”
Today’s study of human dynamics on and off the athletic field has made leaps and bounds and you are the beneficiaries. Just be mindful of the proper time and place for those benefits. Static Stretching is not an end … in and of itself. Nor should there be proponents for and against … just a better way of doing things … but don’t discount the usefulness of either for athletes PRIOR to doing other things… and for the right reasons.
Think about why your about to do either, one or the other, and/or why .. every time you take the field .. practice or game.