Warm Ups That Work

Warm Ups That Work It's been said that limbering up with old school against the joint force, known as static stretching, can cut into your power and force production. Obviously, that's an issue for competitive athletes and even the guy who's trying to set a new personal best. Visualizing physical tasks, a process known as motor imagery, is supposed to have the opposite effect increasing power and force production. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research measured the effect of both practices on 30 minutes of cycling at 65% of capacity.

Thirteen trained cyclists completed 3 different trials warming up with 3 sets of 30-second static stretches on hamstrings, hips and glutes, performing 16 minutes of coached visualization or just resting quietly. All athletes performed each of the three protocols before riding, and researchers determined that there were no significant differences between peak power and peak RPM speed regardless of the warm up strategy.

True Strength Moment: Scientists theorized that a relatively short stretching warm up of 30 seconds or less isn't likely to hold back cycling performance. This is good news for athletes who want to feel more limber before training or competition. If you set aside time for visualization drills because you feel it positively influences the mind-muscle connection don't give it up just because of these results. Researchers weren't measuring coordination, agility or change of direction speed.
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