Static stretching after warmup but before class

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by righty, May 20, 2013.

  1. righty

    righty Valued Member

    Hi there,
    Normally it's recommended that static stretching should only be done when warm and as part of a cool down. So in an MA class setting it's normally done at the end of class and should be avoided at the very beginning of class.

    But recently I tried out a new local class and also went to a seminar where a general warmup was done (a bit of jogging, some calisthenics etc) and in both they did some static stretching after the warmup and before going into the actually teaching or technical part of the lesson.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    I don't remembering reading anything that talking about this type of situation. Technically you are warm, so it should be OK. But it's also before other activities so it still could hamper performance and increase risk of injury which is what normally associated with static stretching as the first thing in a workout.

    I have to admit I don't really like it, but it's more because I have just warmed up and ready to go but then am forced to sit down and gently stretch. I'd rather have a minute to get a drink and get into learning and leave the static stuff until the end of class.
  2. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Just make it a very easy stretch and don't push it. Being a visitor you're not going to change their mind so just play along and treat them easy.
  3. righty

    righty Valued Member


    That's what I did at the time. But I'm considering making a more regular appearance at the local school as I found the rest of their training quite good. The seminar I mentioned was also held by a pretty high up and respected guy so I'm curious in that regard to.
  4. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    what kuma said. just fake lower flexibility levels and point and laugh if someone gets injured (please don't do this).

    thing is, it won't make your tendons explode or anything, it's just that sustained static stretching lowers muscle tonus, and you occasionally need said muscle tonus to avoid injury, plus it not actually warming up the muscles, which comes from using them (the opposite of what static stretching does), and thus can leave you a bit more susceptible to injuries than you'd otherwise be, if you don't compensate for it.
  5. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    My former teachers made much ado about stretching, and my current ones don't. I found that it doesn't make a significant difference unless I'm going to be sparring. I'm double jointed and my shoulder pops out easily if not properly warmed up before sparring. :/
  6. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I'm guessing this was a Karate class? :)
  7. righty

    righty Valued Member

    Ha. Someone might be paying attention to my posts.

    The seminar was taken by a Karate guy but who I also know has a great deal of experience in grappling. The class was BJJ.
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  8. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I thought that static stretching followed by excercise (e.g. MA class) was a big 'no no', due to the increased risk of tearing muscles/tendons?

    (Although we used to do just that when I did Kung Fu, and I never suffered any injuries as a result. But in fairness, back then I didn't know that it was supposed to be a bad thing.)
  9. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Martial arts instructors rarely have any kind of sports coaching training outside of what their instructor showed them.

    The result is that you get a lot of obsolete and occasionally dangerous training methodologies.
  10. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    In my experience a short aerobic warm up followed by static stretching then the class is still the standard order of training used in many Karate dojos and by many karate instructors.
  11. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    This^. Although I have seen some discussion recently on easy stretching of areas that are exceptional tight.

    My osteopath also recommends stretching of hip flexors before training, although in a more dynamic, mobility fashion than in traditional static 'push as hard as you can and hold' fashion.
  12. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Very much the approach in our TKD.

    I think there is no harm in limited static stretching performed for warm up rather than increasing ROM of areas that are otherwise hard to get to.

  13. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    I'm not a fan of massively long static stretching sets (the sort that clueless, masochistic folk seem to do), but I do find that my back responds better if I've loosened it up with some easy stretching and mobility work (e.g. doing cat/camels) before training.
  14. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Yep, exactly that. Long static stretching is for developing ROM and best done at the end of class. It should take some time and we'll often do it with a partner to help.

    A few short stretches to warm hips, groin (steady), back etc are fine IMO, as long as they are part of a proper dynamic warm up.

    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  15. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    absolutely correct. it's interesting how habit always plays a big part. in hapkido, we always did a round of static stretching before class, while cold no less. because this is the way it is always done with this dojang and this instructor.

    and then when i started aikido and bjj, i would just do the same static stretches before class. but noticed that until i really got warmed up, i didn't really seem ready to go.

    i've been researching stretching on this site (thanks vz!!!) and using search engines , and now do a round of dynamic stretching before bjj in the morning, and another at night. amazing difference. i am actually ready to go before class now.
  16. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    its usually a good thing to take the middle ground where this stuff is concerned

    Most of the research done on this type of thing was done with extremely long static stretches, several minutes, followed by either max strength work or explosive work such as sprints, jumps etc and what would you know really long stretches had a negative effect on the above so what happened was that the internet trainers jumped on the static stretching is bad for you wagon and dropped them in favour of dynamic stretches (usually followed by said people selling said dynamic warm up dvds) based on this research

    Then a few trainers who actually worked with clients saw that tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, tight calfs, tight back muscles and tight Piriformis weren’t a good thing when lifting heavy weights or doing an athletic endeavour and that sort static stretches through an easy range of motion after a good warm up weren’t really that bad and helped posture and performance

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