Sports Medicine Research: In the Lab & In the Field: Acute Effects of Static and Dynamic Stretching on Kicking Mechanics (Sports Med Res)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Acute Effects of Static and Dynamic Stretching on Kicking Mechanics

Acute Effects of Static and Dynamic Stretching on Hip Dynamic Range of Motion During Instep Kicking in Professional Soccer Players.

Amiri-Khorasani M, Abu Osman NA, Yusof A. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 June 25(6):1647-52.

The range of motion available at a joint is crucial to athletic performance. There are many methods of stretching, but the two most popular types are static (stretching the muscle to its end range and holding for a duration) and dynamic (stretching during a sports-specific motion). Stretching has been demonstrated to increase joint range of motion when measured statically but very few studies have evaluated the influence of stretching on range of motion during functional sport tasks. Amiri-Khorasani and colleagues assessed the influence of static and dynamic stretching on dynamic range of motion (DROM) of the hip during instep kicking among 18 professional Iran Première league soccer players with no past medical history of lower extremity injury. Each participant performed 3 different warm-up protocols (static, dynamic, and no stretching) on 3 nonconsecutive days, at least 72 hours after either competition or hard physical training. Participants were divided into 3 groups which performed the stretches in different orders (for example one group performed static stretching on day 1 while another group performed dynamic stretching on day 1). Each day’s warm-up consisted of jogging (4 minutes), stretching (which varied each day), rest (2 minutes), and 5 soccer instep kicks. Stretches were performed bilaterally on multiple muscle groups (e.g., gastrocnemius, hamstrings, hip flexors). During instep kicking, participants were given a starting point to limit frontal plane movement, and asked to kick a ball 11 m towards a 2 X 2 m target. Reflective markers and motion analysis cameras measured hip DROM during the kick. The authors found significant differences in DROM during the forward phase of kicking, the follow-through phase, as well as during whole phases in the dynamic stretching group compared to the static stretching group. No differences between stretches were found during the backswing phase. In brief, dynamic stretching increased DROM relative to no stretching and more so than static stretches.

This study presents a very interesting case for the implementation of dynamic stretching in warm-ups. Implementing dynamic stretches into warm-up also makes sense since it can be sport specific.  The study was also interesting because it assessed the benefits of dynamic stretching during sport specific tasks.  Hopefully, more studies will pursue this model to evaluate the influence of dynamic stretching on performance.  While current literature demonstrates the benefits of dynamic stretching, clinical implementation of dynamic stretching protocols, will be much more challenging. Not only will clinicians be required to educate their patients but proper education of coaches will also be critical. Do you deal with this in your practice? Have you attempted to implement any dynamic stretching into your athlete’s warm up? How have your athlete’s responded? Have you seen a decrease in injuries? Furthermore, what strategies did you use, or tried, to educate others such as coaches to the benefits of dynamic stretching?

Written by: Kyle Harris
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Driban

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Anonymous said...

Jenna K. C. post's,

I believe dynamic stretching is being implemented more and more each year with different athletic teams. Warm ups have come a long way from standing in a circle and counting along while performing certain static stretches.

What I would like to see are the lasting effects of the dynamic stretching. It is known that performing a controlled static stretch is located well within the elastic region on the stress strain curve. I would like to know where the two types of stretches measure up along this curve and if that would effect the lasting effects of the amount of DROM a person may have after these types of stretching.
As far as prevention of injuries, in my experiences it is hard to say because there can be so many other predisposing contributors specific to the athlete that could cause a specific injury.

Paul Geisler, EdD, ATC said...

I switched completely to dynamic stretching and neural glides several years ago with several soccer teams I have worked with, and although I did not collect formal data, the number of muscle strains has gone down dramatically with the groups that have implemented it properly and arduously. In fact, the high school team that I've been working with has had ZERO hamstring and quad strain in the last 3 years, and only one hip flexor strain (the player actually sustained it during a summer camp, and came into the HS season with it pre-existing). Thus anecdotally, I'm a firm believer in dynamic, functional pattern "stretching" (should that word be discontinued because of its connotation?), and neural glides (which needs more research to ascertain its prophylactic and performance benefits).

Kyle Harris said...


I absolutely agree that warm-ups have come a long way. I think your point about the long-term effects of dynamic stretching is an intriguing one. I do think that there is something to be said for the routine of stretching prior to practice or competition. In my practice, I began to notice that my athletes have been so ingrained with a static stretching routine prior to competition that many of them were “going through the paces” moreso than actually stretching. Once I introduced many of them to dynamic stretching though, it became part of a team warm-up and my athletes had to focus on the activity because it was newer to them. With that being said I think that not only does the science point to dynamic stretching leading to more DROM, but from my observations it is also leading to a better overall warm-up which may aid in the injury prevention process.


Kyle Harris said...


Great anecdotal evidence. I think more and more clinicians are coming to the same conclusion, just as you and I have. I think there is a strong case made, in this study especially, to push dynamic stretching as a means of injury prevention. Hopefully, with some more evidence we will see more cases like yours in various schools and practices.


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