Stretching -A Performance Indicator -Dr. Brandon Hardin

• Stretching: A Performance Indicator

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• Stretching has always been a hot topic for athletes. It is more so now that we are seeing injury patterns due to certain types of stretching. I treated a football player with a high hamstring tear this past week. I asked him what his stretching technique pre and post game was and he couldn’t develop an answer.

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• This poses a great question for our coaches and trainers. Are we sufficiently doing our athletes a favor by stretching static vs. dynamic or do we even stretch our athletes at all? In this case, the trainer and coaching staff has given the instruction on static stretching prior to practice/game. While we know stretching is often discredited because after all, who really wants to stretch for thirty minutes at a time, we understand its importance and the impact it has on flexibility, mobility, range of motion and performance.

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• Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

• A dynamic pattern of stretching involves putting the joint through ranges of repetitive motion and increasing the joint position with each repetition while firing the muscles needed for that certain activity. This helps reduce stress to that joint/muscle and prevents overuse injuries as we often see in the clinic. It incorporates movement for optimal activation of different muscle groups and is the primary choice of stretching technique used for prior to any exercise routine whether it be a football game, a soccer game, going for a run, you name it.

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• Static stretching is most widely known, thus most widely used as a form of general stretching technique used by many athletic programs. The athlete holds a certain joint position while using deep breathing. This uses a relaxation technique to allow the joint/muscle group to increase range of motion on its own. You will want to hold each position for a minimum of 30 seconds to increase the flexibility in the muscle tissue. This type of stretching, as research suggest, may actually inhibit the muscles natural ability to fire. Meaning, as much as we try to fire the hamstrings when running, the decrease in fiber strength is apparent and the athlete is more susceptible to injury.

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• Prior to exercise of any type, he/she should use the dynamic method of stretching to incorporate joint play to increase ranges of motion. The hamstrings for example are a commonly injured muscle among various sports. These exercises are great prior to any type of training.

1. Lunge and twist

2. Tabata squats (interval protocol)

3. Inch worms

4. Mountain climbers

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• Post exercise as a relaxation technique, use the static form of stretching. These are the most common forms of static stretches.

1. Curb stretch

2. Groin stretch

3. Adductor stretch

4. Standing quad stretch

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• The best performance indicator is an athlete’s time on the field. If they aren’t participating because of an overuse injury that could have easily been prevented in most cases, then we haven’t done our job effectively. Teaching these simplistic stretches are invaluable to an athletic program.

Brandon L. Hardin D.C., CCSP
Owner/Clinic Director 
 
Core ChiroSport, PLLC
370 Courthouse Rd. Suite 101
Gulfport, MS 39507
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Posted by Dr. Brandon L. Hardin

Dr. Hardin is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician in Gulfport specializing in care for today's athlete. He is a native of College Station, Texas where he was highly involved in athletics. In college he was involved in a motorcycle accident and dislocated his shoulder, broke his radial head and suffered from sciatica. As an avid user of chiropractic, he experienced immediate relief from pain and was even performing at a higher level than he was before the accident. He specializes in Sports Medicine, Active Release Technique, Kinesio-Taping, diet and nutrition, exercise science, prenatal chiropractic care, as well as physical/functional rehabilitation and injury prevention. Dr. Hardin is a fourth generation chiropractor and has experience treating elite athletes from such organizations as MLB, the NFL and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is also honored to have spent time treating our veterans as part of a rotation at the Dallas VA Hospital. These experiences have given him an insight to the capabilities of the human body and its intricate works. Dr. Hardin received his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and went on to complete a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Parker University in Dallas, Texas. He is married to his wife, Amanda, a Gulfport native, and they have one son, Austin. He is an avid runner a and enjoys spending time outdoors biking, hiking and kayaking with his family. Dr. Hardin is committed to helping each of his patients attain a high quality of life through a whole body approach of nutrition, exercise and chiropractic adjustments.

Website: http://www.CoreChiroSport.com

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