There are many articles and sound research on the importance of an Active Dynamic Warm-up (ADW) and how it can increase performance. And contrary to popular belief, “the science and literature supports the epidemiologic evidence that static stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of injury,” (Shrier, 1999).
One of the most important pieces of information that validates why an ADW is more beneficial than static stretching to prevent injury and increase performance, is the 25+ years of practical experience I have as a coach, athlete and business owner.
The goals of an ADW is to first activate the core and gluteal muscles, wake them up with neural activity and blood flow, so they fire effectively to help stabilize the spine and extend the hip. It has been shown that isometric core exercise creates more passive stiffness throughout the core. This passive stiffness creates more core stability, which is crucial for sprinting. (Lee and McGill, 2015).
The next phase of the warm-up is general calisthenics and mobility exercises to raise the body’s core temperature and increase blood flow throughout all the joints and muscles. Third, should be a series of dynamic flexibility movements that bring the joints through a range of motion that your sport requires. This should be done in a controlled but dynamic fashion. You do not want to go through the traditional stretch and hold routine. Remember, your body becomes a product of its environment. When you perform a slow static stretching warm-up, you are preparing your body to be slow. Prepare dynamically to play dynamically. Prepare the way you play and you will play the way you prepare.
I. Shrier. “Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury: A critical review of the clinical and basic science literature.” Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine (1999)
Lee, B. C., & McGill, S. M. (2015). Effect of long-term isometric training on core/torso stiffness. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29(6), 1515-1526.