Anecdotal Proof Static Stretching Works


Pre workout static stretching is a controversial topic. I have been criticized for being a static stretching advocate by those who feel that static stretching decreases power. However if you read the research it becomes obvious that things are not quite that simple.  I wrote an article a few years ago called The Static Stretching Renaissance for my StrengthCoach.com site that explains my thoughts in great detail. At Boston University we just completed our 2010-11 hockey season with a record of 19-12-8 for a total of 39 games. Not a bad year but not good by BU standards. This means we had 780 man games. ( 20 players x 39 games). As I always do, I asked a simple question at the end of the season. “Who missed a game with a muscle pull?” For the second year in a row we had one player miss two games with a muscle strain. This means over the course of almost 1600 man games we lost 4 to muscle strains. That I believe is .25% or 1/4 of 1 %. For those who still insist that static stretching doesn’t work, lets compare stats

5 Responses to “Anecdotal Proof Static Stretching Works”

  1. Max Prokopy Says:

    Coach – congrats. I think whatever you do, if it’s done consistently it will be effective. We do almost zero static stretching. We do active stretches and lots of both Brettzels. By comparison, we had zero games lost to muscle injury. Out of 20 weeks x 6 events per week x 28 players (practice plus games), we lost 8 man-events due to muscle issues. That’s 8/3360 or 0.23%. The womens’ side was actually better. I’m not saying one way is better than another (I happen to prefer active and PNF), but doing it every day means everything.

  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    Howard- the key is to get people to realize that static stretching is a critical piece of the puzzle, not part of the problem. You are correct, I know it is not just the stretching. It is rolling, exercise selection, volume control etc.

  3. mboyle1959 Says:

    Adductor strain. Very poor flexibility with a history of repeat injury.

  4. Coach-Congrats on a healthy season. Just curious what muscle your player strained, how he did it and if he had a history of previous strains?

  5. Anecdotal evidence is useful when you have built a large body of it over the course of many years, which you have done.

    In this instance – looking at one team over the course of one season, however, we may need to be careful. My NCAA Division 1 soccer team did not do any static stretching prior to training and games and we did not have any games missed to muscle strains during our championship season.

    Coach Boyle this may not be evidence that we need to static stretch / don’t need to static stretch. It is more likely evidence that our overall program is at least helping to keep injuries below the norm.

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