When we began playing sports, our pre game routines consisted of a cardiovascular warm up, some agility work, followed by static stretching (sustained holds >15 seconds of the muscles). This type of stretching has fallen out of favor in the last decade because of the negative impact of static stretching on muscle performance. Research has shown a negative impact of pre competition static stretching on running speed, jumping ability, and sports performance. Conversely, a dynamic stretching program prior to competition accomplishes the warm up goals of increased body temperature, range of motion, and agility without any negative effects on performance. In fact, some research shows a positive impact of a dynamic warm up on performance.
A recent article in the Journal of Athletic Training (2014) examined the impact of this dynamic warm up on soccer injuries in collegiate male soccer players. Grooms et al. compared the F-MARC 11+ dynamic warm up program consisting of cardiovascular, agility, strength, and balance with a traditional static warm up on injury rates in the upcoming soccer season. Authors noted 8.1 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures overall with 291 days lost from competition compared with 2.2 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures and 52 days lost in the dynamic group. The F-Marc 11+ reduced the risk of injury by 72% (RR = .28)
To learn more about how a dynamic warm up can reduce your injury risk in soccer contact the experts at Mend.