Keeping up with the newest fitness trends and finding out what's legit and what's just a marketing ploy can seem like a full time job. Something that's certainly not a fad is the fact that pre-workout static stretching is not only ineffective, but can also be counter-productive. There are hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that show pre-workout stretching decreases performance and, in some cases, can increase injury potential by producing micro tears in your muscles. That's right – the very thing that's meant to help prevent you from injury can actually hurt you!
This information is not new to professional athletes and it's finally starting to slowly trickle down to weekend warriors. So, if we shouldn't be static stretching before we hit the water, what are we supposed to do before we get on the board? Brody Welte from PaddleFit has a simple answer: movement preparation or a dynamic warm-up.
Movement prep is a exactly what is sounds like – a series of movements that gets your body ready for the work load it's about to face. Each movement focuses on encouraging full range of motion of each major joint (including shoulders, hips, knees and ankles), as well as firing up your cardiovascular system. When you achieve this, your body is ready to use oxygen and discard cell waste more efficiently. During movement prep you'll also engage stabilizing muscles to better prepare yourself for an injury-free paddle.
There are many versions of activity-specific movement prep, but in this video we'll go through a dynamic warm-up to get you ready for a paddle workout or race. Check back soon for our next Paddle Healthy video on cooling down and post-paddling mobility. —Phil White
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