Static stretches are the only way to go we're told. Avoid dynamic stretching, it can cause injury also is often heard.
For these reasons a study on static vs. dynamic warm ups caught my eye. The study, titled Dynamic vs. Static-Stretching Warm Up: The Effect on Power and Agility Performance was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
While the effectiveness on brief anaerobic performances was assessed (medicine ball throw, shuttle run and a 5 step jump) and there can't be an obvious link with rowing the study is interesting food for though nonetheless.
The results suggested the dynamic warmup produced better performances on all three measures than either static or no warm up.
Obviously in rowing we have a long period of dynamic warmup - there is no choice if you want to get to the start! But if you are a firm believer in the warm up that takes place before going on the water, or in the warm-up before an erg this should at least make you pause and think about how you use that time. How many coaches have seen young athletes show up for an erg test, do a bunch of static stretches and very little actual rowing before the test?
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