STRETCHING DOES NOT AFFECT A SOCCER KICKING SKILL
Pius, R., White, R. L., Lai, Q., & Engels, H. J. (2009). Place kicking kinematics following static and dynamic stretching warm-ups in young female soccer players. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2769.
This study compared the effects of a standardized static and dynamic stretching warm-up on performance of a maximal instep type soccer place kick. Female high school varsity soccer players (N = 16) completed two randomly assigned experimental sessions that consisted of either a 10-minute standardized static or dynamic warm-up, each followed immediately by three consecutive trials of a maximal effort instep place kick with the preferred leg. Testing was performed using a ball of standard size and inflation under controlled indoor athletic field conditions. Kicking performance motion was videoed and then digitized from the start of the kicking leg’s forward swing to the toe contact on the ball. The primary dependent variables of kicking performance were mean and maximal linear velocities on the toe of the kicking foot. In addition, mean angular velocities on the ankle, knee, and hip of the kicking leg were measured to allow for a more in-depth interpretation of the kinematic characteristics of the place kick.
There were no significant differences between the static and dynamic warm-up conditions on mean linear velocity or maximal linear velocity on the toe. No differences for the warm-up conditions were observed on any of the angular velocity variables.
Implication. Static or dynamic stretching warm-ups do not influence a soccer skill in adolescent females. "Recent clinical recommendations to avoid pre-event static stretches and to use a dynamic pre-event warm-up to optimize exercise performances in tasks that require a high power output need further evidence-based refinements that should include sport-specific tasks."
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