Here's a few points of interest to consider when deciding which flexibility/stretching protocol for (pre-activity) warm up might be best for you and your ballplayers:
- Slow & controlled movement followed by holding stretched position for a period of time (upto 30 seconds).
- As the muscle is stretched (lengthened) it relaxes causing muscle stiffness to decrease. This reduction in muscle stiffness can minimize force production; affecting ability to produce power.
- Does not reduce post exercise muscle soreness
- Considered a better alternative for the cool down
- Reduces soft tissue tension which can support ROM and mobility
- Requires acceleration & deceleration of movement patterns; excellent carryover for on-field performance.
- Increases core temperature
- Increases blood flow to working muscles
- Excites nervous system - benefiting force production
- Enhances joint mobility
- Includes movement patterns such as: jog, back pedal, skips, butt kickers, cariocas, shuffles, inch worms, etc, etc
At Five Tool Baseball, dynamic flexibility is our preferred method for warming-up prior to our in-gym or on-field training sessions. Furthermore, our warm-up programs can be enhanced by implementing "specific" functional exercises to match the main focus of the training session - such as 'Push', 'Legs/Hips' or 'Pull' dominant. As an example, we may perform light standing band presses or stability ball push ups when the focus of our training day is 'Push'. Same approach is taken on 'Legs/Hips' and 'Pull' training days.
Regardless of your own position on stretching, train hard, train smart and...
Out train the game.