Developing your Judo #16
#16: Warm-Ups & Stretching
Stretching does more than just raise the body's core temperature. Its purpose is really twofold:
- 1. to increase the length of the muscle in order to increase the range of motion of a joint
- 2. to reduce muscle stiffness which is thought to be directly related to muscle injury
Stretching can be either dynamic (moving through a range of motion) or static (holding a position for a specified time period, say 30 seconds).
Studies have shown that dynamic stretching was much more effective in reducing muscle stiffness if done during warm-ups while static stretching was more effective at the end of a workout because it helped to relax the muscles and increase the range of motion. In judo, stretching will make your muscles more pliable for the workout and make your techniques more powerful since you will be able move through a longer range of motion. Keep in mind that dynamic does not mean ballistic where you are trying to move beyond your current range with bouncy or jerky movements. This type of stretching can actually cause injury.
In summary, dynamic flexibility increases core temperature,
muscle temperature, elongates the muscles, stimulates the
nervous system, and helps decrease the chance of injury.
By: Rainer Fischer (Canadian Olympian)